Books

Joanita Wibowo

Rare Harry Potter book set to sell for $54,000 at auction

Rare Harry Potter book set to sell for $54,000 at auction

If you have some old Harry Potter books at home, check them out today – you might be sitting on a copy worth tens of thousands of dollars.

A 1997 print version of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone bought for less than $2 at a yard sale is expected to sell for up to £30,000 (about AU$53,600) at an auction at the end of July.

The book, owned by a 54-year-old English office worker, is one of the only 500 copies in the world of the particular first edition.

The owner, whose name is not revealed, told SWNS that he bought the book in 1999 for a pound. “I thought nothing of it at the time. I read the book … and then put it away in a cupboard for years,” he said.

“It’s so exciting to think that a holiday read could be worth so much now.”

The rare edition was published by Bloomsbury on June 30, 1997 and came with numerous misspellings and typos.

Jim Spencer, rare books expert at Hansons Auctioneers said 300 of the first edition copies went to schools and libraries. “They are extremely rare,” he told the Daily Mirror.

“This is a landmark in children’s literature, but it appeals to young and old. Everybody knows this book. This is the holy grail for so many collectors.”

The book will be auctioned on July 31 at Hansons’ Library Auction at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, in Staffordshire, England.

In April, another book of the same edition was sold at a Bonhams auction in London for £68,812 or nearly AU$126,000, above the original estimated worth of £40,000 to £60,000 ($AU73,000 to 110,000).