A first edition copy of JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit has sold for over £10,000 after being discovered by chance in a Scottish charity shop.
The rare copy of the famous book, which follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, was found by a manager at the Cancer Research UK superstore in Dundee.
Though the store’s pricing model is to sell items for £5 or less, the book was put up for sale on eBay – later fetching £10,099.50.
Published in 1937, the book is one of just 1,500 copies released in the original run and features black and white illustrations by Tolkien himself.
Superstore manager, Adam Carsley, who found the book, said he had initially thought that the “well looked after” copy was “not really sellable on the shop floor due to its age”.
Mr Carsley had been at the Dundee Superstore just before opening to assist with the training of new managers and the organisation of stock – including hundreds of books in the backroom – when he came across the item.
“I opened the first page to see it was a first edition and thought it may be worthy of sending to the eBay team,” he said.
“At first, 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.”
Mr Carsley continued: “To my knowledge this is one the most valuable items donated to one of our stores. Most definitely the highest price achieved on our eBay site for a single item.
“Donations like these help to fund lifesaving research across the whole of the UK.”