Harry Potter book bought for 30p makes £10,500 on the saleroom
Bought for 30p after being withdrawn from Wolverhampton Library, the hardback copy was offered for sale at Richard Winterton Auctioneers in Lichfield on Monday July 10.
Published by Bloomsbury in 1997 with a laminated board cover, the book is one of only 500 first edition first impressions and, of those, one of only 300 sent to libraries.
The sale attracted international interest, with the winning bid placed online via the saleroom from Los Angeles.
As an ex-library book, it was in what one might describe as a ‘well-loved state’ and had therefore been estimated at £3,000 to £5,000.
Auctioneer Richard Winterton said: “We’re absolutely delighted with this result. The first in the original series of books by JK Rowling, this copy has clearly been well-read and still has its library identification sticker, spine sticker with the letter J, withdrawal stamp and 30p selling price.”
The book was part of the personal collection of a Staffordshire man who had a lifelong passion for books and ephemera.
He lived in Brereton, Rugeley, for a number of years before latterly moving to Chase Terrace, Burntwood, and passed away unexpectedly at the beginning of the year aged 55.
Auctioneers discovered the book after a painstaking search of hundreds of boxes of his belongings.
The man’s sister, who asked not to be named, said before the sale: “He started dealing in books and memorabilia when he was still at school.
“He would go to jumble sales and church fairs and would come back with a pile of annuals or comics.
“He would then take them to a second-hand shop in Hednesford to sell or take them in to school to swap with friends.
“That was his passion from an early age onwards.”
The family knew that he had acquired a valuable Harry Potter book but feared it had gone astray.
“When he moved house four years ago he literally put everything into hundreds of boxes, many of which went into containers,” his sister added.
“We knew that he had got the book but if you asked him to pinpoint it he couldn’t.
“So for the last four years this book has been ‘lost’ and I think we had come to the conclusion that it had disappeared into the ether somewhere.”