First edition of The Hobbit found in charity shop sells for £10,000

A first edition copy of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit has sold for more than £10,000 after being discovered in a charity shop.

The rare copy of the tale was stumbled upon in a back room by a manager of the Cancer Research UK superstore in Dundee.

But as the store only sells items for £5 or less, the book was put up for sale on eBay, where it sold for £10,099.50.

The book is one of the first 1,500 copies of the classic, which was published in 1937 to rave reviews, and included black and white illustrations by Tolkien himself.

The acclaimed children’s book, which follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, was found by Cancer Research shop manager, Adam Carsley.

He came across the item among hundreds of other books in the backroom.

‘I was at the Dundee Superstore just before it had opened, assisting with the training of new managers and the organisation of stock at the shop’, said Adam.

‘Whilst there, I set to work in the backroom organising hundreds of books that were donated to us, to help make some space.

‘Whilst going through the books I began making three piles; sellable, recycling and collectables that might do well on our charity eBay marketplace.

‘As I picked up The Hobbit book, on first glance it looked as though it had been well looked after, but not really sellable on the shop floor due to its age.

‘I opened the first page to see it was a 1st edition and thought it may be worthy sending to the eBay team.

‘At first, I thought we’d get a maximum of £500 if we were lucky so I couldn’t believe it when I had heard a few months later it had sold for over £10,000.

‘We get training and manuals to assist us with finding special items for our online marketplace, however I have also learnt a lot from our invaluable team of volunteers who specialise in different areas (books, jewellery, media, games) and in turn, train us.

‘To my knowledge this is one the most valuable items donated to one of our stores.

‘Most definitely the highest priced achieved on our eBay site for a single item.

‘Donations like these help to fund lifesaving research across the whole of the UK. We always aim to get the best value for these donations, whether it be in one of our Highstreet shops or online at one of our marketplaces.’

In 2015, a first edition of The Hobbit, with an inscription in Elvish written by Tolkien, sold at auction in London for £137,000.

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