I read The Hobbit in 1963 after reading a large format children's illustrated anthology which had a Tove Jansson Moomintroll story or chapter and the first chapter of The Hobbit along with other stories I don't remember.
Thus this anthology would have been published in 1963 or earlier.
Several years ago I managed to identify this anthology somehow on the internet. I believe there were several editions published under various titles in the 1950s and 60s.
But now I don't remember the title of that anthology.
I just now looked up J.R.R. Tolkien at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database and couldn't find any record of the first chapter of The Hobbit appearing in an anthology.
and the only anthology listed with a Moomin story was this one:
And it includes stories published long after 1963 and nothing by Tolkien.
So I wonder if anyone is familiar with that anthology.