Fantasy fans enjoyed a real treat during Sunday’s Antiques Roadshow, when a letter signed by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien was valued at a whopping £10,000.
The owner of personal correspondence from the legendary novelist appeared on the most recent instalment, which took place at Bodnant Garden in north Wales.
Owner Charles wrote to Tolkien as a teenager after deciphering the cryptic runes included in the classic novel The Hobbit, writing a whole letter in the language created by his idol.
Tolkien was a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford at the time when he replied to Charles, writing in detail about the inspiration behind the runes he used in his novels.
The letter was written in 1957, 20 years after the publication of The Hobbit. Charles had kept the letter in perfect condition and also still had the original envelope.
‘He did write a lot to his fans, but to find a letter like this which is completely handwritten, and with this wonderful signature and to explain the runes too, is incredible,’ expert Clive Farahar said.
‘I think it is the top of Tolkien letters. It’s extremely good,’ he added.
Considering the value of the item, Clive added: ‘I think it’s worth about £10,000.’
‘Good lord,’ Charles said, visibly shocked by the estimation. ‘I’m astonished.’
Would he ever think of selling the item?
‘I regard it as a family treasure,’ Charlies said. Since it’s addressed to me and has my name on it, I would not dream of selling it.’
‘It’s a sort of “my precious”’, Clive joked, referencing the phrase spoken by Lord of the Rings character Gollum.
It comes after Antiques Roadshow left a guest completely gobsmacked when an expert valued the clock he’s kept on his sideboard for 20 years at £20k.
Two sisters were also shocked that their family Christmas decoration heirloom was priced at £30k in a recent episode.
Antiques Roadshow continues on Sunday at 7pm on BBC One.
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