LadyGreenleaf writes: I watched a bit of the Antiques Roadshow UK just right now because there was nothing else to watch, and also because I love British accents and I wanted to listen to the people talk. I don’t usually watch the show, so I didn’t know exactly how it worked, but I have heard of it, and I knew enough to know what was going on. There was a man, who was the ‘expert’, and a lady, who was the guest, with a bunch of papers and a book.
The papers turned out to be letters from C.S. Lewis, that had apparantely been written to a family member of hers. There was a five-page handwritten one, and another one that was three pages long, but I didn’t see if it was handwritten or just typed. It was not shown exactly who they were addressed to, but both were ended with very kind, appreciative comments, which I didn’t understand clearly, followed by ‘Yours, CS Lewis’.
But that’s not the best part! They mentioned The Inklings, and the ‘Eagle and Child’, or ‘Bird and Baby’, so I knew that it must have something to do with Tolkien. And, of course, it did. The book turned out to be a copy of The Hobbit, and I just did a bit of research and although I couldn’t find the exact book, I did find a picture of the design that was on the cover (it’s the attachment), and I can tell you that it was hardcover, and a pale, sort of olive green colour, so maybe you know which one of the many it is. The man from the roadshow said that it didn’t have a dust jacket so it was quite dirty and the book itself didn’t excite him too much.
But what did excite him was a very good reason to get excited about! Inside the front cover was a postcard written by the author of the book himself!!! They even compared the script writing on the card to the one on the maps in the book, and you could clearly see that it was almost the exact same, the one on the maps a bit neater. The postcard was signed simply ‘JRRT’, and the man complimented the script, es pecially the ‘T’. After this, he said that the postcard from Tolkien was ‘very rare’, and that the letters from Lewis were ‘extremely rare’, and also that the postcard (or maybe the book and the postcard both, I’m not sure) would sell for 500 pounds. I live in Canada and have no idea how much that turns out to be in Canadian dollars, but the woman who owned the items looked quite surprised, and quite happy also, so my guess is it’s a lot.
All I know is that many people would be willing to pay many thousands of dollars to own something handwritten by JRR Tolkien. I was still in shock trying to figure out how that woman was able to get her hands on something so…. ‘precious’, to hear how much the letters by Lewis would sell for, but she was quite surprised by that too, so I’m guessing some other large amount of money. I tried to go on the Antiques Roadshow UK website when the show was over, to see if I could get all the details for you, but unfortunately there were none. I also do not know if this is a recent show, or if it is just a rerun shown in Canada. It was surprising nonetheless.