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"Precious" Collectibles – The Tolkien Collectors

A First Edition Copy of The Hobbit - Prized among Tolkien fans!
A First Edition Copy of The Hobbit – Prized among Tolkien fans!

With the launch of the first installment of Peter Jackson’s newest Tolkien trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, so to does the emergence of collectors looking to acquire their own hoard of “precious” Hobbit items.

In a recent article from The Wall Street Journal Online’s, Anna Russell, Tolkien collectibles are cashing in on the success of the films and from the zealous fans. Such “fandom” has seen a first edition Hobbit book sell at Christie’s in London for over $26,000.

Other notable franchises that have been witness to a successful merchandise market has been James Bond which has sold many high end items in its history. The Harry Potter franchise has also seen prop wands sell for over $6,000.


According to the Wall Street Journal, “Because few props have been released from the Tolkien movie sets, rare and pristine editions of the books make up most of the market for high-end collectibles. Christie’s set the record for a Tolkien work sold at auction when it sold a three-volume set of “Lord of the Rings” inscribed by the author to a son for $152,500 in 2002.“


New Zealand collector, Andrew Taylor, has paid over $1,000 on replica pewter chess sets, and a Helm of Sauron, “It’s “a bit like having your own fantasy museum,” says Taylor.

Many collectors look to the New Zealand based Weta Workshop for their Lord of the Rings and Hobbit collectibles. The Wall Street Journal reports;


“Steve Fitch, a university administrator in Canada who reports for Middle-earth News, paid $99 for a gold-plated replica of the ring from New Zealand jeweler Jens Hansen, bought through Weta and finished with Elvish symbols. His wife, he says, let him replace their wedding band.

“I just love it,” he says. “Unfortunately one of my friends pointed out it’s the symbol of ultimate evil in the films. I got some mixed vibes from my wife after that. Maybe we’ve been married long enough so that she doesn’t really care anyways. It’s too late now.”

You can read the full article on the Wall Street Journal Online here.

Follow Steve “Rifflo” Fitch on TWITTER: @HobbitSteve

About reuben

Steve, also known as “Rifflo”, is a University MBA Administrator in Ontario Canada where he lives with his wife, Lisa and two young daughters, Alexa and Ava. Steve has an extensive background in corporate sales. Steve also worked for ISAF: International Security Assistance Force and the Canadian Military as a recruiter in Human Resources for the operations in Bosnia and Afghanistan. When not immersed in Tolkien works,sci-fi, and film, you can find him training in Muay Thai, and Italian rapier.


  1. Precious collectibles indeed! I go back and forth between pride and shame for how much “stuff” I’ve got. About to build a large shelf for it all, but feeling quite like it’s going to appear like a shrine..

  2. I have an entire room in my house, about 12 x 12, devoted to my collection – 4 bookcases that are 3 feet wide and 7 feet tall are filled to overflowing. There are things stacked on the floor. I started collecting in 2002 and haven’t stopped. I wear my silver One Ring 24/7. (my wedding set is white gold so I don’t want a yellow gold ring on my other hand). I’m 57 yrs old, a wife, mom, grandmother. 🙂