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Tuesday, April 23 2024

From Pennies to Fortune: First Harry Potter Proof Sells for ₹11.5 Lakh

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A proof copy of the first Harry Potter book, which was bought for pennies at a used bookshop more than 30 years ago, sold for 11,000 pounds (roughly Rs 11.5 lakhs) at auction. According to British auctioneers Hanson’s, the original edition of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” which is labeled “uncorrected proof copy” on the cover, was bought in 1997 for a total of 40 pence ($0.50) from a south London bookstore along with two other novels.

The anonymous seller claimed to have purchased the book about the well-known young wizard as a “throw-in” along with other books and had forgotten about it for years until finding out about the high prices some Potter books fetched.

On Wednesday, the book sold for 11,000 pounds at auction, with a sales premium added to make the total price 14,432 pounds. The buyer is an individual in the United Kingdom, according to the outlet. The author’s name was erroneously listed as “J A Rowling” on the copy’s inside title page rather than J.K. Rowling, according to Jim Spencer, head of books at the auction house.

“This book so deserved to do well. This proof copy is where the Harry Potter phenomenon began. This is the very first appearance in print of the first Potter novel,” Mr Spencer said.

In July of last year, an extremely rare Harry Potter book that was purchased for thirty pence went for 10,500 pounds at auction. One of 500 copies of the first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was purchased by a Staffordshire collector who passed away earlier this year, according to the BBC. On July 10, at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Fradley Park, Richard Winterton Auctioneers put the book’s hardcover copy up for auction.

Published by Bloomsbury in 1997 with a laminated board cover, the book is one of only 500 first edition first impressions and, of those, one of only 300 sent to libraries. The winning bid was placed online by a buyer from Los Angeles, according to a release by Lichfield Auction Centre. The book was estimated at 3,000 pounds to 5,000 pounds due to its ‘much-loved condition’ as an ex-library book.

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