Rare Harry Potter book sells for £80k at Leyburn auction

JK Rowling
JK Rowling wrote most of the first Harry Potter book while sitting in an Edinburgh cafe

A rare first edition of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in “exceptional condition” has sold for a magic £80,000 at auction.

The book was one of 500 hardback copies printed in its first run in 1997 and bought from a Nottingham bookshop.

On the book’s copyright page, the world famous author is credited simply as “Joanne Rowling”.

Auctioneers Tennants, of Leyburn, North Yorkshire, had estimated the volume would sell for about £20,000-£30,000.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The £80,000 book has a couple of slight misprints which mark it out as a sought-after volume

The £80,000 price ticket for the “exceptional copy, first edition, first impression, case-bound issue” sold on Wednesday excludes the buyer’s premium, said the auctioneers. Tennants said 300 of the original books were sent to libraries and many had a “high rate of loss and damage”.

This volume was bought soon after release at Dillons in Nottingham, the sale price is one the highest ever recorded for one of JK Rowling’s works.

Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe played the boy wizard in the Harry Potter film series between 2001 and 2011

An author-signed first edition of the same book was sold in Edinburgh last year for £125,000, setting a new European auction record, according to Finebooks magazine.

The first Harry Potter book telling the story of the young wizard was joined by a further six books following his adventures at Hogwarts school. The books have spawned a huge worldwide audience, along with numerous films and tie-ins.

In all, the auction consisted of more than 200 lots of maps, manuscripts and books, including a Bible published in 1660 which sold for £16,000. The sale raised a total of about £260,000.

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