Stoke & Staffordshire

Harry Potter book bought for £1 'could make £30k'

Book Image copyright Hansons
Image caption The first edition book was from a print run of only 500

A Harry Potter first edition bought at a table-top sale for just £1 could make £30,000, after auctioneers valued three boxes of books at a house.

The 1997 copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will be sold on Harry Potter's and author JK Rowling's birthday, Hansons Auctioneers said.

The owner, now 54, had bought a handful of books for £1 each for the family to read on holiday about 20 years ago.

They said it might raise more than enough "to buy a nice new bathroom".

The office worker from Staffordshire, who did not wish to be named, said: "I thought nothing of it at the time.

"I read the book, in fact I've read all the Harry Potter series, and then put it away in a cupboard for years."

The first edition book could be identified by two typographical errors, including "philosopher's" being spelt as "philospher's", the auctioneers said.

JK Rowling's name also appears as Joanne Rowling.

Image copyright Hansons
Image caption "Philosopher's" was spelt as "philospher's" on the back page, the auctioneers said
Image copyright Hansons
Image caption In an error on page 53, a list of equipment mentions ‘1 wand’ twice, Hansons said

One first edition hard copy sold for £28,000 and another, signed by the author, made £68,000 at auction, Hansons said.

"I receive a few calls every week from people saying they have a first edition Harry Potter, and it can invariably be ruled out in seconds," said Hansons book expert Jim Spencer.

It will be sold at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, with an estimate of £20,000 to £30,000.

"By pure luck, our library auction is on July 31 - Harry Potter and J K Rowling's birthdays. I think Harry Potter must have waved his wand over us," Mr Spencer added.

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