First edition of Harry Potter goes on sale for £70K

Ex-librarian set for £70K windfall after 1997 first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – complete with mistakes including calling JK Rowling ‘Joanne’ – goes under the hammer

  • First edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has emerged for sale
  • The rare first edition copy of JK Rowling’s masterpiece was found by an ex-librarian, who enjoys searching for interesting or rare books in shops
  • Just 500 first edition copies of the famous book were printed in 1997 – and the mistakes in them have made them all the more sought after

A first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is set to fetch around £70,000 when it goes under the hammer.

The rare copy of JK Rowling’s first installment about the boy wizard, which will go under the hammer at Forum Auctions, London, was found by an ex-librarian who searched bookshops hunting interesting reads.

Just 500 first edition copies of the famous book were printed in 1997 and they all contain the same ‘typos’- including author JK Rowling receiving the credit Joanne. 

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A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will go under the hammer at Forum Auctions, London, with an expected sale price of around £70,000

The ex-librarian, who’s set for the literary windfall, doesn’t want to be named ahead of the auction but says she fell in love with the series and even named her son Harry after the main character. 

One error is ‘one wand’ being printed twice on a list of items Harry needs for Hogwarts on page 53.

The misprint ‘Wizardry and and witchcraft’ can also be seen on the back cover – a subtle variation of the title for ‘Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry’ which features in the novel.

The first editions have massively gained in value over the years and the world record price for a mint first edition is £356,000.

Just 500 first edition copies of the famous book were printed in 1997 and they all contain the same ‘typos’- including author JK Rowling receiving the credit Joanne

One error is ‘one wand’ being printed twice on a list of items Harry needs for Hogwarts on page 53

The vendor hopes to use the proceeds from the sale to help support her son, who has recently been diagnosed with autism. The extra support and therapy which they would be able to afford would make a big difference for the family, she says.

Auctioneer Max Hasler said: ‘This is a wonderful example of this iconic work.

‘The first edition only had a small print run and many copies either went to libraries or to children who often ended up damaging the book in their enjoyment of its contents.

‘The price reflects both the condition of this volume as well as the extraordinary cultural impact of the work as a whole.

A first edition error with the misspelling of ‘philosopher’ on the back cover of the Harry Potter book 

The first editions have massively gained in value over the years and the world record price for a mint first edition is £356,000

‘This copy has no trace of any inscriptions, the spine and cover are still remarkably bright and colourful.

‘There is a lovely backstory to this copy too, it was given to the vendor by her great uncle, an ex-librarian who would go to bookshops on weekends and pick out any interesting-looking new titles for his great niece.

‘The vendor loved the book, but thankfully read a different copy. Years later she named her son Harry after the main character.’

The book will go on sale on January 26.

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