An edition of the first Harry Potter book has sold for £20,000 at an auction despite it being sold for £1.
A proof copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was discovered at a school in Oxfordshire, England.
Originally, it was purchased for only £1 around 26 years ago but this “uncorrected proof copy” is only one of 200 printed by publisher Bloomsbury in 1997.
The book is such an early copy that it spells author JK Rowling’s name wrong on the front page.
It is set to be auctioned off to potential buyers on September 5 at Hansons Auctioneers, in Etwall, Derbys.
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Ahead of next week’s sale, the draft copy of the Harry Potter franchise’s beginning has a guide price of £15,000 to £20,000.
This upcoming sale is the latest example of items being purchased for very little actually being worth a lot of money.
Jim Spencer, the auction house’s head of books, broke down why this particular edition of the first Harry Potter novel is going for so much money.
He explained: “This book is where it all began. This is the very first appearance in print of the first Harry Potter novel. The title page states the author’s name as ‘J A Rowling’, and, on the other side, ‘Joanne Rowling’.
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“It’s believed just 200 copies of this book were printed by Bloomsbury. This modest little paperback is the beginning of it all. The author’s signing tours, the midnight queues outside bookshops, the movies, the merchandise – it all stems from this.
“This copy bears a stamp for St Kenelm’s School. It has decided to sell the book, which was originally put on the shelves of the library for pupils to read. The plain cover evidently didn’t inspire many, if any, takers, and so it has survived remarkably well.”
The auctioneer highlighted that Hansons has previously found 16 rare editions of Harry Potter books but this latest find beats them all.
Mr Spencer added: “This find is even more scarce. Not only that, it takes us back a stage further in the evolution of the multi-million-pound Potter phenomenon.
“This is an original proof copy of a book which went on to take the world by storm. Hansons has sold hardback Philosopher’s Stone first editions for prices ranging from £15,500 to £69,000 dependant on condition.
“I’m guiding this Uncorrected Proof Copy at £15,000-20,000. However, bearing in mind its place in history, it could surprise us all.”
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