The Hobbit first edition fetches more than £31k

A rare first edition of JRR Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit has sold for £31,200 at auction, according to BBC.

The first impression copy is one of only 1,500 original pressings of the fantasy novel that went on to spawn Tolkien's universe of Middle-Earth.

It was found in a chest of drawers at a home in Berkshire, where it had been left after being inherited.

The novel was sold by Kinghams Auctioneers in Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, on Friday.

The tale of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures was written by Tolkien during his time in Oxford.

The professor of English language and literature at Merton College originally created it as a bedtime story for his children.

George Allen & Unwin published the first edition in September 1937, with the 1,500 copies all sold out by December that year.

It is illustrated in black and white by Tolkien, who also designed the dust cover.

On the first edition, first impression there is a manual correction on the rear inner flap of the dust cover for "Dodgeson".

It refers to Charles Dodgson, a fellow Oxford don who is better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll and as the author of Alice in Wonderland.

The price paid exceeds the auction house's initial estimate of £7,000 to £10,000.

A similar copy was sold at auction last year, where it fetched more than £10,000 after being found among donations to an Oxfam shop.

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