It was sent by the publisher’s marketing manager to the children’s book specialist Fiona Waters for review, hoping to prompt some useful pre-publication quotes. The proofs, the manager’s letter and Waters’ very positive response – used in part as a review on the rear of the jacket of the 1997 first edition – attracted a bid of £30,000 at Chiswick Auctions (25/12% buyer’s premium) on April 28.
A proof copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, another lot with a Waters provenance, sold for £7000, but some of the Harry Potter lots on offer proved a disappointment.
A copy of the first paperback edition of the first HP title was unsold, as was a full set of all seven of the books. The latter were firsts in good condition and signed by JK Rowling to their title-pages, but in most cases were later issues that had originally been donated by their author to be used in a fund-raising charity auction. Both lots had been given estimates of around £26,000-28,000.