A collection of letters and other documents from famed writer J.R.R. Tolkien were sold at auction Friday to an anonymous telephone bidder for $86,656.
The collection, compiled by Tolkien’s friend George Sayer, shows the development of the British author’s classic work, The Lord of the Rings which more than 100 million people worldwide have read.
The earliest letter in the collection sold at Christie’s asks for the return of a manuscript of the trilogy as George Allen & Unwin, the publishers, are now “clamoring to reconsider it,” Tolkien wrote in the mid-1950s.
The first installment of the film version of the series, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, is set to open in December at theaters worldwide amid predictions it could be one of the highest-grossing movies in history.