Among lots on offer were two copies of the first of the books, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone of 1997 – both of which feature in the image above.
One was a rather battered and well-used first with peeling covers and boasted a number of illustrations to its endleaves that had been added by former readers.
Acquired only last year by a Manchester businessman in a local charity shop for just 50p, it was given an estimate of £2000- 3000 but sold instead for £15,500 to a US bidder.
As the illustration shows, the other copy was a virtually pristine example, one whose careful owner had acquired it as new and held on to it for the 25 years that have since passed – protected from the light and safely tucked away in a protective cover.
That one, which sold at £69,000 to a collector, was bought new, almost returned because the Sussex buyer thought it was missing its dust jacket, but in the end recognised as a treasure – and very much treasured.
Jim Spencer, the Hansons book specialist, has now sold 15 hardback copies of the first of the Harry Potter books and many, many more of those that followed.
On March 4, Ewbank’s (25% buyer’s premium) of Send, near Woking, offered one of the 200 uncorrected proof copies of that first Harry Potter tale which were printed. A copy whose consignor had publishing connections and had owned it since it was new, it sold for £20,000 in its original white and yellow wrappers.
The record for ‘Harry the First’ remains with Heritage (25/2/12.5% buyer’s premium) of Dallas, which only last December sold a copy for a staggering $380,000 (£286,575), as reported in ATG No 2527.