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Rare first edition of 'Harry Potter' book sells for almost P800,000

By Melanie Uson Published Jul 11, 2023 4:25 pm

A rare first edition book of the beloved Harry Potter series was recently sold at a whopping price of £10,500 (almost P800,000). It was first bought for only 30p (P21).

According to a BBC report, the first printed version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came from a collector who got it for only 30p (P21) from the Wolverhampton Library. Little did he know, it was one out of the 500 hardbound copies distributed back in 1997. 

Three hundred of them were placed in public libraries, and it was considered a challenge to find the real first editions of the book. 

According to a report by The Independent, the man got his hands on it after the library decided to sell it for a cheap price given that the item was in poor condition. 

The 55-year-old collector passed away earlier this year. Given his large collection, a team from Richard Winterton Auctioneers sorted his belongings and came across the rare find. “Now it’s come to light again, we, as a family, are quite excited,” his sister said.

The item was valued between £3,000 (P214,000) and £5,000 (P356,000), but got sold at a whopping £10,500 (P800,000) in the bidding held on Monday, July 10. 

“We’re absolutely delighted with this result,” auctioneer Richard Winterton said. He also pointed out that it “was well-read,” detailing the preserved form of the book since it was first bought. 

“The first in the original series of books by JK Rowling, this copy has clearly been well-read and still has its library identification sticker, spine sticker with the letter J, withdrawal stamp, and 30p selling price,” he explained.  

Another first edition copy of the book in “pristine condition” was sold at a hefty amount of £69,000 (almost P5 million) in March 2022. In December of the same year, the “very rare” 15th-anniversary edition of the same book was sold for £8,000 (almost P570,000) at an auction. 

Written by JK Rowling, the Harry Potter series revolves around a young wizard named Harry Potter and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Years after its movie adaptations, Warner Bros. Discovery announced in April that a television series is also set to be made, with the book author as its executive producer.