Rare First Edition of The Hobbit Discovered in Charity Shop Generates £10,000 in Sale

A charity shop in Dundee has been pleasantly surprised by the discovery of a rare first edition of The Hobbit, which subsequently sold for a staggering £10,000, providing significant funds for Cancer Research UK.

A charity shop managed by Cancer Research UK in Dundee recently stumbled upon a remarkable literary treasure, a first edition of the beloved fantasy novel, The Hobbit. 

Unearthed among donations in the shop’s back room, this rare edition, published in 1937 and featuring black and white illustrations by the author JRR Tolkien, turned out to be one of the coveted 1,500 copies from the original run. 

Little did the staff anticipate that this find would ultimately lead to a substantial windfall of £10,099 through an eBay auction last year.

The Unexpected Find 

Adam Carsley, the shop manager, made the extraordinary discovery while assisting with staff training and inventory organization at the Dundee superstore. Initially, Carsley was unsure if the book’s condition would render it suitable for sale on the shop floor. 

However, upon closer inspection, he realized the exceptional value of the book. Expressing his surprise and excitement, Carsley recalled, “I opened the first page to see it was a first edition and thought it may be worthy of sending to the eBay team.

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

This extraordinary find is not the first time a first edition of The Hobbit has garnered considerable attention and substantial financial rewards. In 2015, a first edition with an Elvish inscription penned by Tolkien himself sold at a London auction for an astonishing £137,000, surpassing the previous record set in 2008 when a first edition fetched £60,000. 

An Astonishing Valuation 

Reflecting on the magnitude of the discovery, Carsley remarked, “To my knowledge, this is one of the most valuable items donated to one of our stores. Most definitely the highest price achieved on our eBay site for a single item.”

The substantial funds raised from the sale of this remarkable literary treasure will have a significant impact on Cancer Research UK’s lifesaving research initiatives throughout the United Kingdom. Contributions like these provide crucial support and resources for advancing scientific breakthroughs and ultimately saving lives. 

This fortunate discovery serves as a powerful reminder of the hidden gems that can lie within the shelves of charity shops, waiting to be found and valued by those who recognize their true worth.

In conclusion, the charity shop managed by Cancer Research UK in Dundee struck gold when a first edition of The Hobbit was discovered among the donations. The subsequent sale of this literary treasure for £10,000 exceeded all expectations and will serve as a valuable contribution toward funding vital research. 

The story highlights the hidden potential of charity shop finds, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and valuing the rare treasures that can be unearthed within these unassuming establishments.