Hats off to Harry!

Hats off to Harry!

European Record for Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone

One of the few first edition copies of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, inscribed and signed by J.K. Rowling was sold during our Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs auction in Edinburgh on June 17 for £125,000 - a new European auction record.

Famously the first edition, first impression hardback of the first Harry Potter book was only printed in 500 copies. Of these around 300 were given to libraries and schools and are typically in poor condition while of the remaining 200 copies only handful were then inscribed by the then unknown author for friends, acquaintances, and family members.

 

ROWLING, J.K. | HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE London: Bloomsbury, 1997. First edition, hardback, first impression with the '10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1' numberline on the publisher's imprint page and '1 wand' listed twice on p.53, inscribed and signed by J.K. Rowling on the front free-endpaper Sold for £125,000 incl premium
ROWLING, J.K. | HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE
London: Bloomsbury, 1997. First edition, hardback, first impression with the '10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1' numberline on the publisher's imprint page and
'1 wand' listed twice on p.53, inscribed and signed by J.K. Rowling on the front free-endpaper
Sold for £125,000 incl premium

 

This copy, surviving in fine condition, includes the note “For James, Kate and Laura, with best wishes, J.K. Rowling and the date 6-9-97” (September 1997), less than three months after the book’s publication in June of that year. It attracted competitive bidding from across the globe before selling to an international buyer at a price very close to the world record for a copy of The Philosopher’s Stone.

The Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs auction on June 17 – a sale held ‘live online’ with bids received by telephone, absentee and across four live bidding platforms - welcomed the book back to the city widely regarded as the ‘home of Harry Potter.’

Specialist Cathy Marsden says, “we were delighted to have the opportunity to handle this iconic volume here in Edinburgh, a beautiful copy of a very rare book made even more special by J.K. Rowling’s inscription. The huge levels of interest it received from around the world shows Harry Potter remains a global superstar!”

The first impression of the book has four key issue points that were changed in later editions. They include a title page with copyright information from 1997, the misspelling ‘Philosopher’s’ on the back cover and on page 53 duplicates ‘1 wand’ on Harry’s shopping list.

A story that has captured the hearts of generations around the world, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone represents the humble beginning of a truly magical journey.

 

Discover more about this first edition

 


 

Auction Information

Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs
Wednesday 17th June 2020 | Live Online

Browse the Auction Results

 

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