Ultra-Rare Copy of ‘Harry Potter’ to be Auctioned for Over $20,000

in Entertainment, Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter being shocked

Credit: Warner Bros.

A United Kingdom auction house has announced that it will be auctioning an incredibly rare copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Harry Potter playing Quidditch on broom
Credit: Warner Bros.

Without a doubt, Harry Potter is one of the most prominent franchises in the world. It has inspired numerous films, including the Fantastic Beasts trilogy, a Broadway play, and multiple lands at Universal Studios theme parks, like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It has even kickstarted the careers of numerous young actors, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.

However, it all started as a book written by JK Rowling. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) debuted in the United Kingdom and was a smash hit, leading to a franchise that is as ingrained in pop culture as Star Wars and Shakespeare. Now, one of the original copies of the first book from before it was printed has been discovered. And you can buy it if you have tens of thousands of dollars lying around.

Ultra-Rare Copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ Was “The Beginning of It All”

Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
Credit: Warner Bros.

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As we’ve seen with the auctions for various original Disneyland items, fans with money to spare are willing to spend an excessive amount of cash in order to have a piece of history. And for Harry Potter fans, Hansons may have just found the holy grail when an uncorrected proof copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was found in a local school.

The head of books at Hansons, Jim Spencer, said, “This book is where it all began. This is the very first appearance in print of the first Harry Potter novel. The title page states the author’s name as ‘J A Rowling‘ and, on the other side, ‘Joanne Rowling.’ It’s believed just 200 copies of this book were printed by Bloomsbury. This modest little paperback is the beginning of it all.”

Jim Spencer holding a rare Harry Potter Book, a closeup of the same book
Credit: Hansons

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What’s even more fascinating about the book is its origins, as told by Bob Alder, a retired St Kenelm’s School headteacher from Witney, Oxfordshire. “The book was purchased by St Kenelm’s Primary School in 1997 from Red House Books Ltd, which held an annual sale of books from its warehouse in Witney. Local schools, nurseries, and play groups had the first choice of books in the sale.”

He continued, “Books were usually about half price, some even less, and the school would purchase something like 50 books in each of the annual sales. It was quite by luck that the Harry Potter was spotted in the sale. It had none of the attractiveness of a typical child’s paperback. It cost £1. It was not thought to have any value.”

Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter
Credit: Warner Bros.

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Now, after being rediscovered in the school’s library after a “tidy-up,” this copy of the book is estimated to sell for up to £20,000 ($24,800). However, Jim Spencer believes it can make even more. “Hansons has sold hardback Philosopher’s Stone first editions for prices ranging from £15,500 to £69,000 depending on condition. I’m guiding this Uncorrected Proof Copy at £15,000-20,000. However, bearing in mind its place in history, it could surprise us all.”

While this would certainly leave a dent in anyone’s bank account, it would also serve as the ultimate collectible. If someone has this edition of the first-ever Harry Potter book, you know they are the epitome of a Potterhead.

Which do you prefer, the Harry Potter movies or books? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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