Hobbit first edition sells for £137,000

First edition copy of ‘The Hobbit’ with a handwritten note in Elvish by British author J.R.R. Tolkien was sold for a record price in London

Courtesy of: Sotheby's
Courtesy of: Sotheby's

Updated Jul 28, 2015

JRR Tolkien's first edition of 1937 novel The Hobbit, with an inscription in Elvish written by the author himself, has been sold at auction for £137,000 (187,000 euros, $211,000) in London.

The £137,000 sale broke the record set in 2008 when another first edition sold for £60,000.

Tolkien gave the book to one of his students at Leeds University, Katherine "Kitty" Kilbride as a present in the 1920s.

Kilbride’s nephew said  "Kitty was an invalid all her life and was much cheered by Tolkien's chatty letters and cards. Books were given to her as they were published."

The lines on the first page of the book are written in Elvish, which is a language invented by Tolkien.

The lines are extracts from a verse in "The Lost Road," a time-travel tale that Tolkien never completed and part of his 12-volume History of Middle-Earth.

Tolkien kept in touch with Ms Kilbride until her death in 1966 and her copy of Lord Of The Rings and a signed postcard from Tolkien have already been sold at various auctions.