One was ex-library, the spine and top edge of the front cover both badly faded, and with a stamp to the title and a barcode inside the rear cover. Bought from Cheshire Libraries & Museums, presumably when it was deemed to have served its shelf time and was deaccessioned – and perhaps for a very modest sum – it sold well at £24,000.
The other copy, illustrated above, was bought new by the consignor and kept in such immaculate condition that it was able to command a bid of £45,000.
The record for a straightforward, unsigned copy was set at Heritage Auctions only last September, when another bright and clean copy sold at $65,000 (then £48,505).
In a Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium) sale of June 20-21, a copy of the 1997, first paperback edition of the original Harry Potter book sold at £2200, while at Sotheby’s (25/20/12.9% buyer’s premium) on July 10 another reached £3800.