An ultra-rare first edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone is set to fetch $35,000 at auction – after it was bought for just $1.50 two decades ago. The lucky vendor, an unnamed 54-year-old woman, bought the second hand book 20 years ago when she was looking for some holiday reading. She was unaware that it was one of just 500 copies from the initial print run of the first of the Harry Potter series. It was only recently she realized it was a first edition when she invited auctioneer Jim Spencer to her home in Staffordshire to value three boxes of books she had. Spencer found the “Holy Grail” of Potter books amongst them after discovering it was a previously withdrawn library book from Staffordshire Libraries Arts and Archives with the date of September 19, 1997 on the inside page. The first 500 copies of Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone went to schools and libraries all over the UK but were later withdrawn when it was realized the first editions contained two typographical errors. The back page misspelled philosopher’s – as philospher’s – and on page 53 a list of equipment mentions “1 wand” twice. Author JK Rowling’s name also appears as Joanne Rowling. First editions are so highly sought after by Potter fans around the world one that was signed by JK Rowling made $85,000 at auction in March this year. This copy is being sold by Hansons Auctioneers of Etwall, Derbys, for a pre-sale estimate of $35,000.
Photo Credit: Hansons / SWNS via NY Post