Coveted First Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Fetches $69,000 at Auction

In a remarkable turn of events, a first edition copy of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” printed in 1997, has fetched over £55,000 — about $69,000 — in an auction conducted by Hansons Auctioneers.

The extraordinary find was made by a 58-year-old woman during a family trip in the Scottish Highlands, 26 years ago. Tucked away in a bargain bin of a local shop, the hardcover book, priced at just £10 — approximately $12 to $13 — seemed like a regular purchase at the time. Little did she know, she had stumbled upon a rare literary treasure.

This particular copy is one of the initial 500 hardback prints of Rowling’s debut novel in the now-iconic Harry Potter series. With 300 of these copies distributed to schools and libraries, the remaining 200 were sent to bookshops, making them a rare collector’s item.

harry potter first edition found in bargain bucket credit hansons 2
Credit: Hansons Auctioneers

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone laid the foundation for what would become a globally beloved series. Its magical world, characters, and narrative set the stage for a cultural phenomenon that would captivate readers and viewers across generations.

Post-purchase, the book became a cherished part of the family’s holiday, read as a bedtime story to the children. The significance of this first edition was not realized until years later when the family discovered its potential value. Their initial assumption that the absence of a dust jacket diminished its worth was corrected upon learning that original editions were released without one. The book spent many years stored away, mirroring the early life of its protagonist, Harry Potter.

Motivated by the potential value and historical significance of the book, the seller contacted Jim Spencer, a book expert at Hansons Auctioneers, to authenticate and evaluate the book. Recognizing its value, both historically and monetarily, she decided to put it up for auction.

The auction attracted significant interest from collectors and Harry Potter fans alike. Bidding was competitive, reflecting the high esteem in which the book is held among collectors. The final sale price of £55,104 to a private buyer in the UK far exceeded the original purchase price, highlighting the exceptional nature of this copy.

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Furious
Furious

A long time Potterhead and gamer, I keep up to date with everything in the Wizarding World from Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts to Hogwarts Legacy.

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