Starting in 2011, J. R. R. Tolkien fans across the globe will be able to see two of the world’s most expensive Tolkien books in person. GTC AG, a Swiss company, has recently acquired both books and is planning an exhibition that will bring them to the general public.
In early December, GTC AG acquired a signed copy of “The Hobbit” from Peter Harrington’s for over $78,000. Little more than two weeks later, they announced the acquisition of an even more expensive set of books—a signed first edition set of the Lord of the Rings trilogy dedicated, in Elvish no less, to Elaine Griffith, “The Queen of the Hobbits.” Griffith, a student of Tolkien’s, earned that title by convincing him to seek publication for The Hobbit.
Also acquired in that auction was a lot of Pauline Baynes’ original art. Baynes was Tolkien’s favorite illustrator and passed away last August at the age of 85.
GTC Roadshow’s 2011 exhibition, thought to be the largest collection of Tolkien material ever assembled, will coincide with the release of the upcoming live action film. The Hobbit, directed by Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) and produced by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, is scheduled for a December 2011 release.