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EDITIONS
Friday, 12 July, 2002, 18:30 GMT 19:30 UK
The Hobbit breaks records at auction
JRR Tolkien
Tolkien's works retain an enduring appeal
A first edition of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit has made history by fetching more than 40,000 at auction at Sotheby's in London.

On Friday the 1937 edition sold for 43,020 including the buyer's premium - a world record for the book.

Also in the sale was a 250-lot library collection featuring a series of rare works written by the great Victorian storyteller Charles Dickens, which sold for a total of 331,000.

A Beatrix Potter first edition also fetched a high price, with one of the first 250 copies of Peter Rabbit printed by the author selling for 41,825.

'Thrilled'

And a presentation copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, inscribed by the novel's author, JK Rowling, was sold for 10,755.

Sotheby's specialists Peter Selley and Catherine Porter said they were "thrilled" with the price paid for the Tolkien work.

Mr Selley said: "Despite the selective nature of the market, it was encouraging to see several new buyers.

He added that the items on sale were of "exceptional quality" and that prices surpassed expectations.

The high price fetched by The Hobbit reflects the enduring appeal of Tolkien's work - fuelled recently by the world success of the film version of Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings.

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