JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit sets new auction record

A rare inscribed first edition copy of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit has sold for £137,000 ($209,983) at Sotheby's.

The lot achieved an increase of 95.7% on a £70,000 ($107,290) estimate in the June 4 sale in London - setting a new world record for a copy of the book.

Hobbit Tolkien Sothebys
This copy of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit is made out to Kitty Kilbride 

The previous record was set at $120,800 at Bonhams in 2008.

It's inscribed to Miss CM "Kitty" Kilbride, a former student of Tolkien's at Leeds University with whom he maintained a lifelong friendship.

Her nephew explained that Kilbride was "...an invalid all her life and was much cheered by his [Tolkien's] chatty letters and cards... books were given to her as they were published."

The book is one of a handful of presentation copies given out to friends and family.

A handwritten manuscript for Edward Lear's Pictorial Nonsense Alphabet made £60,000 ($91,963).

Lear produced several Nonsense Alphabets from the mid 1800s onwards. The present example was given to a friend as a gift after he stayed at their home in Corfu.  

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