Facts Stranger Than Fiction
Tolkien postcard found behind fireplace
Tuesday July 08 2008 16:26 BST
A demolition worker has discovered a postcard which was written to JRR Tolkien 40 years ago stuck behind a fireplace.
Stephen Malton, who runs Prodem Demolition in Bournemouth, was removing the fixtures from the author's former home in Poole, Dorset, before the property was demolished.
As he dismantled the carved wooden fireplace he found three postcards, the last of which was addressed to Tolkien and dated 1968.
Malton, 42, has now begun investigating how much he can sell the postcard for and said a collector in Belgium had offered $US500,000 (£253,186) for the card and the fireplace.
He said: "I've been in demolition most of my life. I have been doing this for 15 years, my father did it for 40 years before me.
"All of a sudden for this to land in your lap is just quite unbelievable."
The postcard is addressed to the author at the Miramar Hotel, Bournemouth, where he and his wife Edith spent many of their holidays.
It is signed Lin, which some have speculated could be fantasy author Lin Carter, who wrote A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings, published in 1969.
The postcard focuses on the landscape in Ireland, describing hedgerows along with walking and driving in the countryside.
It reads: "I have been thinking of you a lot and hope everything has gone as well as could be expected in the most difficult circumstances."
Tolkien moved to Oxford in 1972 after his wife died and sold the Dorset house for £23,000 to Stephen Frankel who put it on the market for £1m in 2006.
Developers bought the bungalow and secured planning permission to replace it with two four-bedroom family homes, which upset many of the author's fans.
Malton said he was hoping to sell the fireplace, postcard, a bronze fairy and stone gryphon which were found in the garden, at auction at a later date, but still could not believe his luck.
"You could have knocked me down with a feather," he said. "To find something with the Tolkien name on it is quite amazing. We have looked under the floors, if we find a Hobbit, that will be the icing on the cake."
- Chris Perridas
- Besides being a Lovecraftian, I'm a writer with numerous publications of short stories, poems, and essays: Down in The Cellar, The Open Vein, +Horror Library+ Vol. 1, Horror Mall, Blood Moon Rising, Dark Recesses, and more. I'm an associate editor at Miskatonic Books where I blog. A long time member of Horror Library's T-12 (now defunct) where over 120,000 readers enjoyed my stories. My HPL blog has garnered notoriety since 2006, has nearly 3000 posts on HPL facts - many not found elsewhere, and has accumulated over 215,000 reads. I have written an unpublished biography on Lin Carter, and currently writing a biography of Lovecraft's grandfather.
You're at "Chrispy's Antiquarian Horror Page".
Go Back to Original HPL blog
Go Back to Original HPL blog