Unpublished Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone galley sheets up for auction

The only known galley sheet set for Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s Philosopher’s Stone is expected to sell for up to £30,000 at auction.

Unpublished uncorrected sheets are a version of the book that was sent before final proofreading and consists of 224 numbered pages on 109 sheets.

The copy was sent by Rosamund Walker, marketing manager for Bloomsbury Children’s Books, to Fiona Waters, children’s book reviewer, in February 1997.

In an accompanying letter, Walker wrote, “Dear Fiona, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by Joanne Rowling.

“I have attached a manuscript for your interest as promised…I would really appreciate your feedback for pre-publication citations.”

A month later, Waters replied, “I just loved this book. There’s something about Harry Potter that reminds me of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Cooking proofs for JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Chiswick Auctions/PA)

Waters’ quote was used as a review on the back of the first edition of the book that was printed.

Clive Moss, Head of Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Chiswick Auctions, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer such fascinating insight into what would become an iconic work in the history of literature.

“This copy is not mentioned in the definitive bibliography of Philip W Errington, which records all activity in the works of JK Rowling.

Harry Potter

Full set of Harry Potter first edition titles up for auction (Chiswick Auctions/PA)

“Therefore, these are the only known galley sheet sets that have been seen or offered for sale on the open market.”

The April 28 Fine Books and Works on Paper sale will also include a set of first editions of all seven UK Harry Potter books, signed by Rowling’s assistant Fiddy Henderson – and is expected to sell for up to £28,000.

Similarly, a complete set of first-edition James Bond novels by Ian Fleming are expected to fetch up to £60,000 at auction.

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Set of first edition James Bond books by Ian Fleming (Chiswick Auctions/PA)

Moss added: “This sale is a fantastic opportunity to reach some of the most iconic works from the first edition.

“These rare works celebrate literature and demonstrate the current strength of the market for first editions, as well as literary works, in good condition and of excellent provenance.”

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