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A once-in-a-lifetime Lord of the Rings auction

In a few weeks, we'll know just how precious "The Precious" truly is. At a movie prop auction on Thursday, Dec. 5, dozens of items from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy will be sold off to the highest bidder, including a prop golden Ring of Power that was used on set.

Lord of the collectors
The lots will all be coming from one passionate collector who amassed the items over the course of a decade. In both amount and value, his collection is second only to Peter Jackson, the man who directed the three Lord of the Rings movies. He also produced The Hobbit trilogy of films, the second of which will be hitting theaters eight days after the auction is set to take place.

A Shire-full of props
The auction will feature an impressive bill of goods that will include not only the sought-after (both in Middle Earth and regular Earth) ring, but also the Elven-crafted sword "Sting," which was used by Frodo Baggins, the story's main character, to fend off all manner of evil as he traversed his way to Mount Doom in his quest to destroy the Ring of Power and its dark master, Sauron.

Among the other items of movie memorabilia for sale are a pair of prosthetic feet worn by Sean Astin, the actor behind Frodo's trusted compatriot, protector and traveling companion, Samwise Gamgee. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to walk a mile – or several thousand – in a hobbit's "shoes," this is your chance.

Many of the other characters who made up the Fellowship of the Ring – the group entrusted to escort Frodo and the Ring of Power to Mount Doom – will also be well represented at the Hollywood prop auction. Aragorn, Ranger of the North and eventual King of Men, who led the party as they made their way across Middle Earth, then laid down his sword, which is known as Anduril, once Sauron was defeated. But now you can pick it back up on Dec. 5. All it'll take is an estimated bid of $50,000-$70,000.

The brilliant white staff, which Gandalf acquired after he defeated the Balrog and ascended to the level of White Wizard, will also be available. Sadly, though, the more weathered cane he carried when he was still Gandalf the Grey won't be part of the inventory. That means you won't be able to stand at the threshold of your home, ready to greet the postman by slamming the staff into your porch and crying out "You shall not pass!" At least, not if you want to remain true to Lord of the Rings mythology.

Lord of the Rings history
Written between 1937 and 1949 by J.R.R. Tolkien, the Lord of the Rings trilogy of books are credited by many as being the greatest fantasy novels of all-time. More than 50 years after they were first released to the public, the books were turned into movies that only helped add to the story's remarkable run of public success, earning more than $1 billion in theaters worldwide.

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