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People Are Selling Their Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone Books For £100,000

Lucy Devine

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People Are Selling Their Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone Books For £100,000

Featured Image Credit: SWNS/Warner Bros

Harry Potter fans are selling their Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone books for a whopping £100,000!

A first edition of the book, which has been kept in pristine condition for 25 years, is set to sell for six figures at auction.

The hardback copy has been stored in darkness, unread, unopened and in a protective sleeve since it was bought in 1997. Now, the book - which is one of only 500 - could exceed all records when it is sold next month.

A first edition of the book is set to sell for six figures at auction (Credit: SWNS)
A first edition of the book is set to sell for six figures at auction (Credit: SWNS)

Shockingly, the unnamed seller, from West Sussex, has revealed how he almost returned the book because it didn't have a dust jacket.

He said: “It didn’t have a dust jacket and I thought it should. I was really disappointed when I went to pick it up. I’m a collector and, being a first edition, I expected it to have one. I decided to keep the book on the toss of a coin. It was a moment of destiny.”

Years later, he discovered that Philosopher’s Stone hardback first issues never came with a dust jacket.

“Leatherhead Bookworm, one of those magical old books shops, no longer exists but I still hear from the man who sold me the book," he said.

"He likes to remind me that I nearly had my money back just because it didn’t have a slip cover. I remember standing in the doorway debating whether to keep it.

“I took it home and tucked it away in darkness on a high book shelf to keep it from prying eyes but, more importantly, because the paper in the book is poor quality.

"I was told to keep it away from sunlight to prevent it going brown. I bought that first issue of Philosopher’s Stone because I noticed an advert for it in a magazine called Bookseller in 1997.

"It compared JK Rowling’s book to the Famous Five novels and predicted it could be a prize winner. I loved reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books when I was a child – and I liked them to have a dust jacket.

“I’ve really looked after it. It’s in the best condition it possibly can be – almost perfect I would say. It’s never been read."

The auction will be held on 9th March (Credit: SWNS)
The auction will be held on 9th March (Credit: SWNS)

The seller went on to explain how he assumed the book wouldn't sell for much because it didn't have a jacket.

“In recent years, I noticed Philosopher’s Stone first editions were selling well at auction but, as mine didn’t have a dust jacket, I didn’t think it could achieve those prices," he continued.

"Eventually I realised a dust jacket was not specified. Now I’ve reached the time of life when it would be useful to pay off the mortgage so I’ve decided to sell.

"It’s not easy to part with. Collectors have difficulty selling their prized possessions.”

The copy will be sold by Hansons Auctioneers, in Etwall, Derbyshire, on 9th March with an estimate of £40,000 to £60,000 but it is likely to fetch much more.

Hansons’ books expert Jim Spencer said: “The owner travelled a long way to see me.

"We sat down and made ourselves comfortable, but I was nervous about removing the book's jacket. I receive countless Potter enquiries every single day, but this one had grabbed me and I hoped it would be right.

“My only fear was that it was too good to be true. I inspected the book closely, again and again, comparing it with two other first issues of the same work, studying the covers and text with a magnifying glass.

"Everything added up perfectly. I couldn't believe it. It was like stepping back in time to 1997.”

In December 2021 a near pristine hardback first edition of Philosopher’s Stone sold for $471,000 (£349,186) (Credit: SWNS)
In December 2021 a near pristine hardback first edition of Philosopher’s Stone sold for $471,000 (£349,186) (Credit: SWNS)

In December 2021 a near pristine hardback first edition of Philosopher’s Stone sold for $471,000 (£349,186) from a $70,000 estimate at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, USA.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “It would be amazing to beat the price achieved in America with this near perfect, as-good-as-new Potter first edition.

"Our guide price is £40,000-£60,000, roughly the same as the estimate put on the book sold in Dallas.

"I’d like to think our copy could achieve £100,000 – or, better still, smash the world record. It’s in fantastic, bright condition. It should spark interest from collectors all over the world.

"It could well be the most pristine hardback first issue of Philosopher’s Stone ever offered at auction. Let’s hope we can achieve a new world-record price in Britain, the place where the Potter phenomenon was born.”

Topics: TV And Film, Books, Harry Potter

Lucy Devine
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