This map of Middle-earth was found in a copy of illustrator Pauline Baynes’ copy of The Lord of the Rings. Baynes had removed the map from another edition of the novel as she began work on her own colour Map of Middle-earth for Tolkien, which would go on to be published by Allen & Unwin in 1970.
Tolkien himself had then added his own annotations it in green ink and pencil while Baynes added her own notes to the document as she worked.
In his annotations, Tolkien mentions that Hobbiton is on the same latitude as Oxford, leaving the door open to the implication that Ravenna (Italy) was the inspiration for Minas Tirith.
Blackwell’s called it “an important document, and perhaps the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years at least”.
Blackwell is currently exhibiting the map in Oxford and selling it for £60,000.