Harry Potter: ‘Holy grail’ first edition of Philosopher’s Stone sells for £28,000 on Bargain Hunt

Just 500 hardback copies, which include two noticeable typos, of the first book in the popular series were printed 

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 25 January 2020 10:16
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First edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone sells for £28,000 on Bargain Hunt

A rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has sold for £28,000 on the show Bargain Hunt, after being bought for 28p.

The book is one of just 500 copies printed, and one of the 300 of those that were sent to libraries across the UK.

It was quickly identified as a first edition due to the sticker that showed it was previously owned by Staffordshire libraries, and the misspelling of the word “philosopher” on the back cover.

The word “wand” appears twice in a list of equipment required for students attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on page 53. Author JK Rowling is also credited as “Joanne” in the publishing information – in later editions, she used her initials.

A hardback first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling

LadBible reports that the seller, who remains anonymous, said: “I can't believe it. It's what I'd hoped for but I never really believed my book would make that price.”

On the BBC show, auctioneer Charles Hanson told presenter Natasha Raskin: “All our client wants to do with [the money] is buy a new bathroom.

“Even now the softback publications, which were first editions, are fetching thousands of pounds. But this is a hardback and one of only 500. It's so important in that great history of Harry Potter.”

Jim Spencer, head of books at Hansons, said: “I found the book when I was called to a client's house near Stafford to value three boxes of books. And here it was - the holy grail of Harry Potter books. I was so excited. Every book valuer dreams of finding one of these.”

Last year, a similar edition sold for £70,000 at Bonhams Auction House in Knightsbridge, London.

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