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JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’s first edition valued at £60,000

Published in 1997, this edition of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is one of 200 copies from first-ever print run

A person holds a rare first edition and signed by the author copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ by British author J.K. Rowling, which is to be put up for sale at Christie’s auction house in London, Britain May 31, 2022.—Reuters 

A remarkable discovery has unfolded in a Highland bookshop, where a first edition of JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was found in a bargain bucket, potentially worth £60,000, as estimated by Hansons Auctioneers.

Published in 1997, this hardback edition is one of the 200 copies from the first-ever print run, initially priced at £10.

The fortunate finder, a Scottish woman who stumbled upon the book during a family caravan holiday in Wester Ross in the late 1990s, remains unnamed. The auctioneers, Hansons, anticipate a sale between £40,000 and £60,000 when the book goes under the hammer on December 11.

The book is one of 200 copies printed for sale in shops.—Hansons
The book is one of 200 copies printed for sale in shops.—Hansons

The 58-year-old retired manager purchased the book at a Ullapool bookshop café, placing it in a wicker “bargain bucket” on the floor. Recognising JK Rowling’s name, the buyer secured a discounted price due to the book’s lack of a dust jacket, with her children enjoying the wizard tale as a bedtime story during their 1997 holiday.

The seller, a retired manager, has preserved the rare copy in a cupboard under stairs at her home, drawing an intriguing parallel to the story itself, where Harry Potter sleeps in a cupboard under stairs. According to Hansons, this hardback edition is considered one of the rarest and most coveted among Potter books, deemed a “holy grail” for collectors.

Harry Potter books expert Jim Spencer emphasised the increasing rarity of these first issues, praising this copy as a genuine, well-preserved example that has remained in private hands since its purchase in 1997.

The Harry Potter series, with over 600 million copies sold globally, has achieved monumental success, leading to film adaptations and now plans for a TV series. The discovery of this rare first edition adds a new chapter to the enchanting legacy of JK Rowling’s wizarding world.

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