A first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philospoher's Stone sold for $471,000 (around P24 million) in a US auction on Dec. 9, making it the most expensive commercially published 20th-century work of fiction ever sold.
The 1997 hardback edition sold is described by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions as "magical, incredibly bright, and so very near pristine." There are only 500 copies with the specific binding, and they were originally produced to be distributed to public libraries.
In the same year, one of these rare copies made its way into the hands of David Heyman who went on to adapt Harry Potter into the film franchise fans know and love today.
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Before the auction, the book was expected to fetch $70,000 but it ended up selling for more than six times the estimate.
In the past, first edition Harry Potter books were auctioned off for $110,000 (around P550,000) to $138,000 (around P700,000).
“Not only is it the most expensive Harry Potter book ever sold, it’s the most expensive commercially published 20th-century work of fiction ever sold," Heritage Auctions executive vice president Joe Maddelana told Reuters.
The American collector who sold the book and the name of the buyer were not disclosed.
In November, the series' first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, celebrated its 20th anniversary. The hit franchise's cast—Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and more—will come together for a reunion special premiering on Jan. 1, 2022.