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Rare Harry Potter bought for 30p may fetch up to £5,000 | Harry Potter

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It is a book that has certainly lived up to its name: a rare edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone bought for 30p could fetch up to £5,000 at auction.

The first novel of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series was rejected by a dozen publishers before Bloomsbury printed just 500 hardback copies in 1997.

Because 300 of those editions were issued to public libraries, the quest to find first editions is harder than a Potter quest. Which is why, like the Philosopher’s Stone, genuine first editions have the power to convert the base metal coins they were originally bought with into pure gold.

This edition was saved and bought from Wolverhampton libraries by a Staffordshire man with a lifelong passion for books and ephemera. The man, who died earlier this year, started dealing in books and memorabilia when he was still at school.

His sister said: “He would go to jumble sales and church fairs and would come back with a pile of annuals or comics. When he moved house four years ago he literally put everything into hundreds of boxes, many of which went into containers.

“She said he knew he had the book, but could not remember where, so they assumed it had been lost somehow. Now it’s come to light again we, as a family, are quite excited.”

The owner died unexpectedly at the age of 55 and the book was found after a team from Richard Winterton Auctioneers went through his belongings.

Winterton said: “It has clearly been well-read, which is most befitting of one of the initial run of books which helped fuel the early popularity of Potter – which, of course, rapidly evolved into a global phenomenon.

“It will be a magical moment” when the book is put up for sale on 10 July, Winterton added.

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It is not the first time Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has worked its magic: a very rare 15th anniversary edition of the book won in a competition sold for £8,000 at auction in December 2022.

In March of that same year, a pristine first edition copy of the same book sold for £69,000.


It is a book that has certainly lived up to its name: a rare edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone bought for 30p could fetch up to £5,000 at auction.

The first novel of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series was rejected by a dozen publishers before Bloomsbury printed just 500 hardback copies in 1997.

Because 300 of those editions were issued to public libraries, the quest to find first editions is harder than a Potter quest. Which is why, like the Philosopher’s Stone, genuine first editions have the power to convert the base metal coins they were originally bought with into pure gold.

This edition was saved and bought from Wolverhampton libraries by a Staffordshire man with a lifelong passion for books and ephemera. The man, who died earlier this year, started dealing in books and memorabilia when he was still at school.

His sister said: “He would go to jumble sales and church fairs and would come back with a pile of annuals or comics. When he moved house four years ago he literally put everything into hundreds of boxes, many of which went into containers.

“She said he knew he had the book, but could not remember where, so they assumed it had been lost somehow. Now it’s come to light again we, as a family, are quite excited.”

The owner died unexpectedly at the age of 55 and the book was found after a team from Richard Winterton Auctioneers went through his belongings.

Winterton said: “It has clearly been well-read, which is most befitting of one of the initial run of books which helped fuel the early popularity of Potter – which, of course, rapidly evolved into a global phenomenon.

“It will be a magical moment” when the book is put up for sale on 10 July, Winterton added.

skip past newsletter promotion

It is not the first time Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has worked its magic: a very rare 15th anniversary edition of the book won in a competition sold for £8,000 at auction in December 2022.

In March of that same year, a pristine first edition copy of the same book sold for £69,000.

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