“Harry Potter” Books Worth Their Weight in Galleons on “Antiques Roadshow”

Harry Potter books have long been valuable to those who’ve most longed to be part of the wizarding world. Now the Muggle population is beginning to catch up, with early editions fetching hefty sums.

About 20 years ago, one British school teacher read the Harry Potter books to her primary school class and upon hearing that author J.K.Rowling would be holding a signing at an Aberdeen bookstore, decided to bring her 30 students along. Still in the early stages of her writing career, Rowling generously spent an hour with the class, leaving handwritten notes in each student’s book, personally reading them the first chapter of the second Potter book, and introducing them to new characters.

She introduced the character of Dobby, and the magic, obviously, was the fun and her sense of humour that came through the book as well – shone through. That’s what really got the children hooked on the book.

Now these books find new worth. The owner took her early editions of the first two books to Antiques Roadshow for appraisal. The first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was not a first edition but a 1997 release. However, in its cover were Rowling’s handwritten words: “To the Pope family, with many thanks for introducing Harry to so many people, J.K. Rowling.

 

Far from new condition, the book’s inscription earned it its value. Antiques Roadshow appraiser Justin Croft explained the rarity of such long signatures.

J.K. Rowling didn’t sign very much after the first two books because she was just so famous. But this is something completely different. This is right, almost back at the beginning where she’s signing quite generously, quite fully. You’ve got four lines there. That’s very nice.

If Croft was impressed by this first book, he would be thrilled by the second. A first edition, dated 1998, the owner’s well-loved copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets also contained an inscription: “To the Pope family, again, hope you like this one as much, JK Rowling.”

After some deliberation, Croft revealed that together the two books were likely worth between £2,000 and £3,000. The owner, unwilling to part with her beloved books just yet, reflected on this astounding value.

Wow! Wow, that’s quite amazing. I think they will be going in [a] Gringotts’ vault tonight.

Antiques Roadshow airs on BBC One on Sundays.