UPDATED: Rare Uncorrected Proof Copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” Goes Up for Auction
As readers begin to check their dusty old bookshelves, it seems rare copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are cropping up more frequently than ever before. It has become so much more common that Hansons Auctioneers even managed to hold the first auction dedicated to Harry Potter and featured a whopping five first-edition copies of Philosopher’s Stone that collectively sold at auction for more than £100,000. However, another auction house has also unearthed a rare edition of Philosopher’s Stone, and it’s one that does not come up very often at all. Ewbank’s Auctions will be putting up a rare uncorrected proof copy of Philosopher’s Stone for sale later this month.
On May 27, Ewbank’s Auctions will be holding its Entertainment, Memorabilia & Movie Props auction, which will include several pieces of treasures spanning literature, popular music, and film. One of the more valuable lots pertains to Harry Potter. Limited to a run of approximately 200 copies, up for auction is an uncorrected proof copy of Philosopher’s Stone published by Bloomsbury in 1997. This particular copy contains an incredibly interesting error on the inside title page listing the author as “J.A Rowling” instead of “J.K. Rowling.” Considering that Rowling’s first name is legally Joanne, perhaps “J.A” was a rejected pen name that was being considered. The uncorrected proof copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is currently estimated to fetch between £2,000 and £4,000. Surely, it’ll go for more, right?
For those who aren’t aware, uncorrected proof copies are, as the name suggests, copies of a book that have not been heavily proofread and will contain several errors. These copies are limited and were issued by the publisher to editors for proofreading or to bookstores to help generate buzz surrounding the upcoming release.
Alongside the uncorrected proof copy, the auction will also feature several pieces of memorabilia from the Harry Potter film adaptations. Most of the pieces were put up for auction by a crew member who worked as Daniel Radcliffe’s double on all the movies. The double’s collection includes crew T-shirts, call sheets, and premiere tickets, with the most valuable piece in the crew member’s collection being a paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire signed by Dan, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Matthew Lewis, Devon Murray (Seamus Finnigan), Katie Leung (Cho Chang), and Afshan Azad (Padma Patil). The signed copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is estimated at between £700 and £1,000.
Ewbank’s Entertainment, Memorabilia & Movie Props auction will take place on May 27 at 9:30 a.m. at the Burnt Common Auction Rooms in Surrey, England. You can view the items in the lot on May 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or on May 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can also register for live Internet bidding at the Ewbank’s Auctions official website.
It’d be a dream to peruse this copy of Philosopher’s Stone and see what other types of errors were made in the production of the book. Perhaps there are a few interesting ones that made it from one of the drafts? Do you know of any fascinating errors from one of the first drafts? Or maybe you’ve perused an uncorrected proof copy of Philosopher’s Stone before? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks to Kevin McCooke for the tip!
UPDATE (May 28):
Sold! The item’s hammer price ended up being no less than £21,000 ($29,714). The auction took place on May 27.