Harry Potter bought for 50p in charity shop could sell for £3k

Published
Image source, Hansons
Image caption,
The book is filled with a child's scribbled drawings of the young wizard

A battered old Harry Potter book picked up for 50p in a charity shop is expected to sell for up to £3,000 at auction.

The rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was printed in 1997 and is one of just 500 hardback copies from the first run.

Filled with a child's scribbled drawings, it was found among the dusty boxes of a charity shop in Manchester.

A near pristine copy sold for more than £350,000 in December.

The JK Rowling novel is to be auctioned on Wednesday at Hansons in Staffordshire, with a guide price of £2,000 to £3,000.

"I didn't realise it was a first edition when I bought it," said the seller, a Manchester businessman.

"I just spotted the cover with the image of the wizard and thought it looked interesting. I found it in one of those traditional charity shops packed with boxes."

He said he later became curious and contacted the auctioneers to check whether it was indeed a first edition.

"They confirmed that it was, which was a nice surprise to say the least," he said.

Image source, Hansons
Image caption,
Book expert Jim Spencer told how the book had been "joyfully illustrated" by its young owner

The book will be sold alongside a pristine copy of the same novel with an estimated guide price of between £40,000 and £60,000.

The owner is a collector and kept the book in darkness in a protective cover for 25 years before deciding to sell.

The auction house's book expert Jim Spencer has uncovered various rare Harry Potter books.

He said: "When it comes to condition, we're looking at two very different books. One is like new, as good as it gets. The other has been read until it broke, enjoyed countless times, even joyfully illustrated by its young fan.

"The question is, which one was loved the most? Or enjoyed the most? Arguably, the damaged one tells its own important story.

"I always like to imagine historians of the future gazing at something like this, the doodles and naive fan art, the evidence it was read over and over again - it would surely give them a true sense of Harry Potter fever."

The first Harry Potter book tells the story of the young wizard's days in Hogwarts magic school and was followed by a further six books following his adventures.

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