A set of The Lord of the Rings trilogy has been sold for £24,000 at an auction in South Cerney, Gloucestershire.
The books were a first edition set and all three title pages had been signed by JRR Tolkien. The BBC reports that the books had attracted huge interest and were expected to sell for between £10,000 and £15,000. The set came from Rayner Unwin of the publishing firm, Allen and Unwin.
An early edition of The Hobbit sold at the same auction for £3,200.
Chris Albury, from Dominic Winter Auctioneers said,
“Tolkien fans may not immediately recognise the name [Allen and Unwin], but if they look at the spines of their books they’ll find they are the publishers of the books, from The Hobbit onwards.
“Rayner Unwin was as a 10-year old, given the manuscript of The Hobbit by his father, Sir Stanley Unwin, saying ‘what do you reckon to this?’
“He read it and gave a reader’s report and said it was very good and should appeal to seven to nine-year-olds. He [Sir Stanley] published it, and the rest is history.”