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J.R.R. Tolkien-inscribed first edition of 'The Hobbit' doubles sales record

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Sotheby's

A first edition of The Hobbit, given to one of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s students at Leeds in 1937, and bearing an inscription from Tolkien himself, sold for more than twice the amount of the world record price for a Hobbit first edition. The rare book sold at auction at Sotheby’s in London for £137,000 (roughtly $208,452, according to Google’s currency converter), The Guardian reports.

The previous record was set in 2008, when a copy sold for £50,000. According to Sotheby’s, “Tolkien inscribed only a ‘handful’ of presentation copies of The Hobbit on its publication,” The Guardian reports. In the just-sold edition, given to Tolkien’s student Katherine Kilbride, the author wrote poem in Old English, which The History of the Hobbit author John. D. Rateliff identified as “an extract from Tolkien’s Lost Road,” a time-travel story the author never finished.

Head to The Guardian to read more and see photos of the record-breaking book.