You might have hawk-eyed if you could spot the major mistake in a rare Harry Potter book
Two sisters who received a first edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone from JK Rowling 25 years ago today sold it for a British record £220,800.
The author gave the hardback copy, one of the first 500 to be printed, to his neighbor in Edinburgh to pass on to his two young parents.
She even inscribed it “To Jenny and Lucy, with best wishes, JK Rowling” and dated it September 6, 1997.
The siblings treasured the rare book, putting it away while they bought a smaller copy so they could read it.
They’ve had the first edition since, keeping it in mint condition.
In the first print run, 300 copies were donated to libraries and schools and the remaining 200 went into private hands.
They all contain several typos, including “a wand” 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 on the title for ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ which features in the novel.
The book went under the hammer at London auctioneers Bonhams, where it was acquired by an undisclosed buyer.
The previous UK record for a first edition of Harry Potter was £125,000 for a copy sold in Edinburgh in June 2020.
The world record, a staggering £356,000, was set in Dallas, USA last December.
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Matthew Haley, Head of Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts, said: “The first editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are now firmly established among the most sought after in modern literature.
“They’re even more desirable when, as with this example, they’re in excellent condition and signed by JK Rowling herself, so I’m not surprised they’ve set a new UK record.”
Luke Batterham, specialist at Bonhams, said: “When JK Rowling signed it, the book had not yet become a phenomenon.
“She gave this copy to a close neighbor in Edinburgh and registered it for her young parents.
“I believe they had a second copy that they read and this was preserved in pristine condition.”
“The parents were from the Harry Potter generation and are now in their thirties.”
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has sold over 120 million copies to date.
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