Lot 44
  • 44

Tolkien, J.R.R.

60,000 - 90,000 USD
100,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • ink and paper
The Hobbit or There and Back Again. London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1937

8vo. Publisher’s illustrated cloth, after the author’s designs as are the endpaper maps. Original pictorial dust-jacket after the author’s design and illustrations, hand correction to rear flap denoting first issue, excepting two minor tape ghosts on verso, very fine, crisp, unrubbed and without fading and scarce thus. In a cloth folding case.


Hammond A3a

Catalogue Note

First Edition in unusually fine condition J.R.R. Tolkien began writing The Hobbit, or There and Back Again,as a Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University. Tolkien’s creative perspective was born from a childhood spent briefly in South Africa and then rural England, a short but wretched tour during World War I, and an avid fascination with German philology. 

Although it was originally billed as a children’s book, The Hobbit attracted a varied audience and has been wildly popular since its initial publication. Tolkien built upon the tradition of fantasy literature developed by George MacDonald, Lewis Carroll, and the folk tales of Arabian Nights by inventing a new language—Elvish—and making it accessible for modern-day readers. Such creativity brought rave reviews for The Hobbit, which sold out of its original print run of 1,500 copies three months after publication, leading the publishers to order more novels from Tolkien.  

Author C.S. Lewis, fellow Oxford don and close friend, commented on this reception: “For it must be understood that this is a children’s book only in the sense that the first of many readings can be undertaken in the nursery…The Hobbit will be funnier to its youngest readers, and only years later, at a tenth or twentieth reading, will they begin to realize what deft scholarship and profound reflection have gone to make everything in it so ripe, so friendly, and in its way so true. Prediction is dangerous; but The Hobbit may well prove a classic.”

First edition in fine condition of this masterpiece of 20th century fantasy.