10 June 2024

Rare first edition Harry Potter book up for auction valued at up to £60,000

10 June 2024

A rare first edition Harry Potter up for auction is expected to sell for up to £60,000.

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, the first book in the series, will be auctioned next week in Edinburgh, the city where JK Rowling wrote much of the blockbuster.

One of only 500 first edition hardbacks printed in 1997, it is valued at between £40,000 and £60,000.

A small number of copies were initially produced owing to the publisher’s uncertainty about whether or not the book would prove popular.

The novel has gone on to sell more than 120 million copies, making it one of the bestselling books in history.

The Rare Book, Manuscripts, Maps and Photographs auction at Lyon and Turnbull on June 19 includes two other books in the series: a copy of Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets signed by JK Rowling valued between £4,000 and £6,000; and an edition of Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, valued between £3,000 and £4,000.

Cathy Marsden, head of books and manuscripts at the auctioneers, said: “A first edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone is an exceptionally rare book to find in any condition, and one in such an excellent condition could well be called the jewel in any Harry Potter collector’s crown.”

she added: “Given that much of the writing took place in Edinburgh, it’s fitting that this early and important piece of Harry Potter history will be sold in the capital.”

Other notable books being auctioned include a signed first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale and a complete set of AA Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh books, signed in each volume by both Milne and the illustrator, EH Shepard.

Casino Royale, the first novel in the James Bond spy series, is valued between £30,000 and £50,000.

It is inscribed by the author to Ion Smeaton Munro, Fleming’s night editor at Kemsley Newspapers, which was the then owner of The Sunday Times, who was a decorated army officer much in the mould of Bond himself.

The inscription reads: “To ISM, who’s (sic) staunch keeping of the night watches freed the author for this extra-mural opus, Ian Fleming, April 1953.”

Of the four Winnie-the-Pooh books, When We Were Very Young – valued between £7,000 and £10,000 – was written by AA Milne during a wet holiday in Wales in 1923 and is one of a hundred copies printed on handmade paper and signed by both author and illustrator.

The entire set is valued at between £15,000 and £22,000 and acquired new by the vendor’s family and has never previously been offered for sale.

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