A highly prized first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has been snapped up for £10,500 at auction, having been purchased second hand for just 30p.
This copy of the first novel in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series was given an estimated value of £3,000 to £5,000.
However, an online bidder in Los Angeles swooped in with a bid of £10,500 to take home the first edition.
In 1997, Bloomsbury published a first batch of just 500 first edition first impressions and, of those, the book sold is one of only 300 set aside for libraries.
The telltale missing ‘o’ from the word Philosopher’s on the back cover.
An unnamed individual from Staffordhsire purchased the book for just 30p from Wolverhampton Library.
When the buyer died at the beginning of the year, the auctioneers behind the sale combed through boxes of belongings to find the prized possession.
Printed with a laminated board cover, the edition has the telltale missing ‘o’ from the word Philosopher’s on the back cover.
This novel is adorned with a unique library identification sticker, spine stamped with the letter J, and is complete with a withdrawal stamp.
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour opened to the public in Tokyo on June 16, 2023.
The auctioneer, Richard Winterton, said: "We're absolutely delighted with this result.
"The first in the original series of books by JK Rowling, this copy has clearly been well-read and still has its library identification sticker, spine sticker with the letter J, withdrawal stamp and 30p selling price."
It is noted that the book’s “much-loved condition” added to the high estimation.
If you think you might be the lucky owner of a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first port of call is to check the publisher is Bloomsbury.
Next, check that the date listed in the copyright information is no more recent than 1997.
Also on the copyright page, the print line must read "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.”
Lastly, a couple mistakes are telltale signs for the first edition, with the aforementioned ‘o’ missing on the back cover and a typo on page 53 repeating the term “1 wand” twice.
Last year, a pristine first edition of the book sold at auction for £69,000.
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The world’s most expensive Harry Potter book is thought to have been purchased at auction in December 2021 for $471,000 (£362,500) in Dallas, Texas.
Heritage Auction's executive vice president, Joe Maddalena, said of the sale: "Not only is the most expensive Harry Potter book ever sold, it's the most expensive commercially published 20th-century work of fiction ever sold.
"This result shows the power of that combination of literature and cinema."