The book, published in 1937, was dedicated to Katherine 'Kitty' Kilbride, one of Tolkien's students at Leeds University in England in the 1920s, and featured a note in his fictional Elvish language, an extract from part of his Middle-earth history guide, The Lost Road.

The lot had only been expected to fetch $112,000 (£70,000) during the Sotheby's auction on Thursday (04Jun15).

Its final sale price easily beat the previous record for a first edition The Hobbit, which was set at $96,000 (£60,000) in 2008.