Harry Potter First Edition Sold At Auction For Over $80,000

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First editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are one of the books most sought after by collectors, and fetch high prices when they surface. The latest discovery of one of the volumes, which had sat on a shelf for 17 years, was recently sold at auction, pulling in $84,500.

It was found by a woman named Charlotte Rumsey, who was helping her mother declutter her home in Blackpool, England during lockdown in preparation for her downsizing. It was intended to be part of a number of books sold at a swap meet for a dollar each, but seeing other Harry Potter novels spotlighted on Antiques Roadshow, a long-running series where members of the public bring in old possessions to be appraised by experts, prompted her to ask her mother to check her edition. Details indicated it to be part of the original printing, which was confirmed by Jim Spencer, the book expert at Hansons Auctioneers, who went on to sell it for the astounding price.

As well as being the first printed appearance of The Boy Who Lived, first editions of Harry Potter’s initial installment are also considerably desirable due to their scarcity. When Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was originally published, it was an unknown and uncertain quantity, the book being a generic fantasy tale for children written by a new author nobody had heard of. A mere 500 copies were produced, of which 300 went to libraries and schools and only the remainder made available for sale to the general public, making it difficult to come by.

Of course, it’s just the first three books in the series that have any notable resale value, due to the series having become so popular by the time the fourth was published that print runs became much larger, making later installments considerably less rare and thus of reduced interest to hardcore collectors. Even so, if you have an old hardback of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on your shelf, it might be worth giving it a more thorough look.

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