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Mathom was a Kuduk word usually reserved for a present possessing significant value or sentiment, but of little practical use.Gifts were a necessary part of any Eriadoran ceremony, festival, or extended visit.Hobbits favored food and small animals for most purposes.The concept of the mathom dated back to the ancient Glennen, where every bit of metal or a good flint was something to be treasured.Manufactured and crafted goods, particularly those made by Dwarves, Elves, and the distant Gondorians, were a rare and precious thing in the Shire settlement—in the first centuries after the fall of Arthedain they were often unavailable at any price.Thus, the Shire-folk developed a practice of re-giving old presents, something as practical as a high-steel knife or as frivolous as an Elven silver comb.Toward the end of the Third Age, the Shire was prosperous enough that this practice no longer had a practical motivation ,but it had persisted as a sign of Hobbit sense and modesty.The most interesting of the mathoms eventually found their way into private or public collections, such as the "Mathom-house" maintained by the Prebbin family in Michel Delving.

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