JRR Tolkien's unseen Hobbit art to be published

A JRR Tolkein watercolour called Smaug flies round the mountain The work is made up of ink drawings and watercolours

Previously unseen sketches and paintings by The Hobbit author JRR Tolkien are to be published for the first time.

The artworks, which were not used when the novel was published in 1937, were recently discovered in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

It includes ink sketches and paintings.

Next year marks The Hobbit's 75th anniversary. Director Peter Jackson is making a two-part movie adaptation, the first part of which is due out in 2012.

His previous adaptations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy have picked up a raft of movie awards, including the Oscar for best picture for The Return of the King in 2004.

The White Dragon Pursues Roverandom & the Moondog by JRR Tolkien Tolkien was a talented amateur artist before The Hobbit's publication

When it was originally published, The Hobbit had 10 black and white pictures, two maps, plus binding and dust jacket designs by its author.

More than 100 pieces of Tolkien's new artwork, including drawings, maps and plans have been collected for the new publication, The Art of The Hobbit, which is published on Thursday.

The inspiration for some of the works comes from earlier illustrations from his little known work Roverandom, about the adventures of a young dog, Rover, which was written for his son Michael.

Although the novella was written before The Hobbit, it was not published until 1998.

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