Rare First Edition Harry Potter Book Expected To Fetch £30,000 At Auction
A rare first-edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone that was bought at a table top sale for just £1 looks set to fetch around £30,000 at auction in London.
The book is one of a run of just 500 copies of J.K. Rowling's wizarding fantasy story that comes complete with original misspellings and typos.
The first-edition was published in 1997 by Bloomsbury and was bought as a holiday read before it sat in a cupboard for almost two decades before resurfacing.
The owner, who is a 54-year-old office employee from Stafford, said: "I bought the book along with three or four others to read on holiday about 20 years ago.
"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.
"It's so exciting to think that a holiday read could be worth so much now. It might raise more than enough money to buy a nice new bathroom."
Inside the book's front cover it bears a stamp from the Staffordshire Libraries Arts and Archives and shows the original recommended retail price of £10.99.
That would be a bit of a bargain, given that it is now worth £30,000. However, it's even more so given that this copy was bought for a quid.
It is due to go under the hammer next month and has a predicted sale price of between £20,000 and £30,000.
Jim Henson (pictured), a book expert from Hansons Auctioneers - which is looking after the sale of the rare book - said: "I was called to a client's house near Stafford to value three boxes of books and there it was - the holy grail of Harry Potter books.
"I was so excited. Every book valuer dreams of finding one of these.
"I was slightly caught in disbelief when I first saw it.
"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, or it's one of the titles from later in the series when production was huge because of its success.
"The one we've found is a former Staffordshire Library book which is stamped 'withdrawn from stock'.
"The vendor came across it around 20 years ago at a table top sale.
"Various old books were being sold off and the owner bought a handful for £1 each for the family to read on holiday.
"They weren't sure if it was a Harry Potter first edition but I soon established that it was thanks to some typographical errors that particular version is renowned for."
He continued: "When our client bought the book for £1 all those years ago no-one realised what a huge impact the Harry Potter stories would have globally.
"The majority of the books in that first print run went to schools and libraries. They are extremely rare.
"This is a landmark in children's literature, but it appeals to young and old. Everybody knows this book. This is the holy grail for so many collectors."
The book is due to be auctioned on July 31st, which is the birthday of both J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS