Guernsey Press

Rare first edition Harry Potter book sells for more than £45,000

The book, which is one of just 500, features a spelling mistake on its lower cover and has ‘1 wand’ listed twice on page 53.


A rare first edition Harry Potter book has sold for more than £45,000 at auction.

The copy of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, which is one of the first 500 printed in 1997, was sold on Wednesday in Edinburgh, where most of it was written.

It features a spelling error of ‘Philosopher’s’ on its lower cover and ‘1 wand’ is listed twice in a list of equipment on page 53.

JK Rowling in a black outfit
The book is the first release in the popular JK Rowling series (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The book was acquired by its previous owner two decades ago in Adrian Harrington’s Kensington Church Street shop in London, and is described by auctioneers as being an “excellent copy of the work”.

Upon its release, publishers produced only a small number of copies because of uncertainty about whether or not the book would prove popular.

The series, which includes seven books that were adapted into blockbuster movies, went on to become one of the most beloved in the world.

The edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone was one of only 500 printed (Stewart Attwood/Lyon & Turnbull/PA)

Other high-value items included a copy of Casino Royale, the first novel in the James Bond spy series, which features an inscription by author Ian Fleming.

It is inscribed by the author to Ion Smeaton Munro, Fleming’s night editor at Kemsley Newspapers, which was the then owner of The Sunday Times, who was a decorated army officer much in the mould of Bond himself.

The inscription reads: “To I.S.M, who’s [sic] staunch keeping of the night watches freed the author for this extra-mural opus, Ian Fleming, April 1953.”

It was valued between £30,000 and £50,000 and sold for £38,951.

Ian Fleming’s inscription to his former editor
Ian Fleming’s inscription to his former editor (Stewart Attwood/Lyon & Turnbull/PA)

Prior to the sale, Cathy Marsden, head of books and manuscripts at the auctioneers, said: “A first edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone is an exceptionally rare book to find in any condition, and one in such an excellent condition could well be called the jewel in any Harry Potter collector’s crown.

“Given that much of the writing took place in Edinburgh, it’s fitting that this early and important piece of Harry Potter history will be sold in the capital.”

Following the sale, she said she was “delighted” with the results which she feels “show the strength of modern first editions in today’s market”.

“Works by literary giants, such as Ian Fleming and JK Rowling, continue to prove very popular at auction and I hope that these books are much enjoyed and treasured in their new homes,” she added.

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