LONDON (AFP) — A rare first edition of author J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel "The Hobbit" was sold at auction Tuesday for 60,000 pounds (122,000 dollars, 77,000 euros) -- more than twice its forecast value.
The book, inscribed by the South African-born British author himself, went under the hammer at Bonham's auction house in London, which had estimated it would sell for 20,000-30,000 pounds.
"The Hobbit" was originally written for his children, but a friend recommended he try to get a publisher. It was released in 1937 and the first print-run of 1,500 sold out immediately.
The auction also included the first foreign-language edition of the book, a Swedish translation from 1947 priced at 400-800 pounds, and the last known photo of Tolkien, taken in Oxford in 1973, valued at up to 600 pounds.
"The Hobbit" preceded his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the film version of which has since become a record-breaking box office hit around the globe and introduced the world to his fantasy land of goblins, wizards and dragons.
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