Charity Shop Given Rare ‘Lord of the Rings’ Set
By Alison Purdy
Scotsman.com – March 29, 2004
A charity shop manager said today she was amazed to receive a set of first edition Lord of the Rings books handed over by an anonymous customer.
Jo Wheatley, manager of Oxfam in Colchester, Essex, said the mysterious donor handed over the rare JRR Tolkien collection in a carrier bag full of other books.
“It was amazing, particularly because they had been given to us apparently anonymously in a carrier bag full of ordinary books.
“Sometimes when people come in with valuable donations they announce that they have something very special to give us but in this case nothing was said,” Ms Wheatley said.
It was not until the bag was unpacked that its precious contents were uncovered.
An Oxfam book specialist has valued the collection at £500 and a buyer has been found.
All three books, which cost 21 shillings (£1.05), when they were first published in 1961, have their original covers and are in good condition.
Ms Wheatley believes that the recent Hollywood recreation of Tolkien’s tales of sorcery and sword craft, which were also voted Britain’s favourite read, have increased the value of the books.
“I would say the recent films have had an impact on the value. Public interest inevitably pushes prices up,” she said.
The sale is now set to go ahead on Saturday.
“I hope that whoever the donor was will be pleased to know that the money is going to be put to good use and will do good work throughout the world,” she said.