Harry Potter: First edition of Philosopher's Stone book sells for £70,000 due to misspelled title

Only 500 were printed

Jack Shepherd
Thursday 28 March 2019 12:22 GMT
Front cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Front cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

A rare copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has sold at auction for almost £70,000.

The unique copy was one of only 500 first-editions to feature multiple mistakes, including misspelling the title Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone on the back cover.

JK Rowling’s full name, Joanne Rowling, also appears within the book, while Harry’s school equipment list includes the item ”1 wand” twice. The author’s hand-written signature also appears in the copy.

While estimated to fetch between £40,000 and £60,000, the copy sold for £68,800 at Bonhams Auction House in Knightsbridge, London.

A similar first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone previously sold at auction in Texas, United States, for $81,250 (£60,186).

Of the 500 first editions that were printed, around 300 are thought to have gone into libraries, meaning few are in pristine condition.

To check whether you have a first edition copy, look at the following:

  • The publisher must be Bloomsbury
  • The latest date on the copyright page must be 1997
  • The print line on the page must read: “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1”
  • Check page 53. The words “1 wand” is listed twice on a list of required school supplies Harry must take with him to school. The mistake was corrected in later print runs.

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