First edition ‘Harry Potter’ expected to fetch $250K at Christie’s


The first novel in JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series that has been read and loved by every new generation since its publication is to be auctioned at Christie’s in London.

The first edition of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” with some errors and signed by the author, is expected to fetch at least $250,000.

The publication is one of 500 hardback copies of the book that were printed in an initial run in 1997. Three hundred of those were sent to libraries.

A person holds a rare first edition copy of

The one being sold by Christie’s, as part of its upcoming “The Art of Literature: Loan and Selling Exhibition,” is among the other 200.

“There were a few things that they seemed to get wrong in the book production,” Mark Wiltshire, a specialist in printed books and cocurator of “The Art of Literature” exhibition, told Reuters.

“On the back cover, for instance, philosophers, which of course is quite a keyword… is misspelt ‘philosphers’, that ‘o’ that second ‘o’ is missing. Also on page 53, in the list of items which pupils are asked to take to Hogwarts with them, ‘one wand’ is repeated twice.”

A person shows the back cover of a first edition of

A person shows the back cover of a first edition of “Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone” by British author JK Rowling, which includes a printing typo, unique to first edition copies, which is to be put up for auction at Christie’s auction house in London, UK, May 31, 2022. (Reuters Photo)

While Rowling was unknown at the time, the book about the magical world of witches and wizards went on to become a massive hit around the world, spawning a whole series and a huge film franchise.

“In many ways, this book is the physical manifestation of a magic memory for so many people and that’s what makes it so desirable,” Wiltshire said.

Christie’s “Art of Literature” event is open to the public from June 7-15.

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