Demolitionist plans to get rich off of Tolkien artifacts

by Jul 14, 2008Other News

A postcard sent to TolkienA postcard sent to TolkienForty years ago, in 1968, J. R. R. Tolkien, world renowned author of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, retired with his wife Edith into a three bedroom bungalow at 19 Lakeside Road in Poole. After Edith died in 1972, Tolkien sold the property to a man named Stephen Frankel for 23,000 pounds. Thirty-four years later, in 2006, Mr. Frankel put the bungalow on the market for 1,000,000 pounds and sold it to the developers Cranbrook Homes (Southern) Ltd. who are now demolishing the property and replacing it with two four-bedroom family homes.

Hired for the demolition job was the company Prodem Demolition, which is based out of Bournemouth, and is owned by Stephen Malton. When removing fixtures in preparation for the demolishing, particularly when unscrewing the fireplace, Malton discovered a postcard sent to the famous author back in 1968. It was addressed to Tolkien’s wife at the Miramar Hotel in Bournemouth where the couple spent many holidays and a plaque commemorates his visits. The postcard depicts a landscape in Cork, Ireland, and while it speaks of the countryside and seascapes, it also reads:

“I have been thinking of you a lot and hope everything has gone as well as could be expected in the most difficult circumstances.”

The postcard is signed “Lin,” and is believed by Mr. Malton to have been sent by fantasy author Lin Carter who wrote A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings, published in 1969.

Tolkiens FireplaceTolkiens Fireplace“To find something with the Tolkien name on it is quite amazing” says Malton. “This is the most exciting project I have come across.” Why is it so exciting? Maybe it’s because the man plans on selling his finds. He has already had offers, including one from a Tolkien enthusiast in Belgium, for a postcard that is valued at 275,000 pounds. Malton became even more excited when he learned that another fireplace, taken from Tolkien’s Oxford home, was being advertised on a website for 250,000 pounds.

Malton is not stopping there. He has also discovered a bronze fairy and a stone gryphon in the garden, and has said: “”We have looked under the floors – if we find a Hobbit that will be the icing on the cake.” The forty-two year old plans to sell all four items at auction on a later date, and has informed Tolkien’s Estate of his find. Says Malton: “To tie in both the fireplace and the postcard, we are talking about a price of around five-hundred thousand for the combined pair.”


Sources: Fireplace find is a real Tolkien point, Stunning Find: Tolkien Postcard Discovery May Fetch $500,000, Tolkien postcard uncovered, Tolkien card’s a great find but don’t make a Hobbit of it, Worker uncovers Tolkien postcard


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