A SIGNED book by the author J. R. R. Tolkien sold for £1,150 in Tamlyns auctioneers’ antique and collectables auction held on Wednesday, May 16.

‘Farmer Giles of Ham’ was written by Tolkien in 1937, but was published twelve years later in 1949, and is illustrated by Pauline Baynes. It is an imaginary story set in the Dark Ages of Britain about Farmer Giles and a wily dragon named Chrysophylax. The book attracted interest from around the world with numerous phone bidders and considerable pre-sale interest.

The book was just one of several excellent results, which included several pocket watches and an unmarked 18ct gold Swiss pocket watch selling for £440. Further notable results were a 9ct gold half hunter pocket watch which sold for £310; a 9ct gold USA half hunter pocket watch, £290, and a 9ct gold open faced pocket watch, £210.

In the jewellery and silver sections, a silver and enamel cigarette case and a matching ladies compact case with a kingfisher design, hallmarked for Birmingham 1950, sold for £260, whilst a Ladies enamel compact, which opened to reveal a mirror and two compartments with an attached lipstick holder on a chain, realised £210. Other results from the jewellery and silver section saw a 18th Century silver tankard realise £240; a set of seven cut-throat razors engraved with the days of the week, £160; a Burmese bowl decorated with figures, flowers and scrolls, £150, and a 9ct gold charm bracelet, £500.

Several items of excellent furniture attracted buyers from around the world, resulting in some incredibly strong prices. A Georgian mahogany secretaire chest, with graduating drawers and a top which lifted to become a book easel, sold for £430, while a Regency rosewood side cabinet realised £420. Other results within the section saw a Regency brass inlaid card table with a brass inlaid wishbone pillar realise £330; a Victorian Rosewood Canterbury, £360; a rosewood Davenport desk, £310, and a rosewood writing table with leather inset top, £200.

Also included in the auction was a single owner collection of miniature books, which sold for over £6,000. The books had been collected by one lady in Taunton over many years, and were carefully catalogued by Tamlyns specialist Ed Bailey. A separate report on these will follow but highlights included a set of sixteen books titled ‘The Infant’s Library’ written by John Marshall, which realised £1,800. Other results saw a 1784 book titled ‘The Tragical History of Children in the Wood’ sell for £860; a set of twelve early 19th Century story cards, £480, and a 1785 book ‘The Masquerade’ realise £460.

Entries are now invited for Tamlyns’ next auction on Wednesday, June 20, which will include a beautiful single owner collection of jewellery. The sale will include specialist sections of jewellery, silver, watches, coins, clocks, books, furniture, paintings, furniture and collectable items. The saleroom holds a valuation morning every weekday morning from 9.30am until 12.30pm, and for larger collections a house visit can be arranged with Tamlyns Auctioneer and Valuer, Ed Bailey.

Entries for the June auction will close on Friday, June 8. For further information about consigning or Tamlyns auctions, please call Ed Bailey on 01278 445251 or email saleroom@tamlyns.co.uk.