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JRR Tolkien’s fireplace attracts £50k bid on eBay
A FIREPLACE from the Poole home of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has attracted a £50,000 bid days after being listed on eBay.
It is one of a number of items, discovered during the demolition of the writer’s bungalow, being sold off in an online auction expected make more than £75,000.
Stephen Malton, proprietor of Bournemouth-based Prodem Demolition, made a number of Tolkien finds during the demolition of 19 Lakeside Road in 2008.
Some of the items have already been sold after attracting worldwide interest. What remains has been put onto eBay to coincide with the launch of the new Hobbit film.
One of the more interesting memorabilia up for grabs is a 40-year-old postcard addressed to the author, valued at £795.
Mr Malton said: “The card is dated 1968 and addressed to Tolkien at the Miramar Hotel, Bournemouth.
“We’ve sold some items, including a pair of lion heads that went to a private collector and I regularly get enquiries from Tolkien fans.”
The postcard depicts a scene from Cork, Ireland, and the message mentions the countryside and seascapes but adds: “I hope everything has gone as well as could be expected in the most difficult circumstances.”
It is signed “Lin”, which could be fellow fantasy author Lin Carter, who wrote A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings.
Other items in the online sale are a stone griffin, ornate doors from the author’s bedroom and a cast-iron fairy holding a clam shell.
The Tolkien estate has been notified of the sale, says Mr Malton. He added: “We’ve put on an exhibition in Wimborne and all the items went across to the Hobbit pub in Southampton where they were displayed as well.”
The pub is fighting US movie lawyers over the continued use of the Hobbit name.
“Money raised went towards fighting the studios,” said Mr Malton.
Tolkien retired to Poole with his wife Edith in 1968 after The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy had already made him famous.