Defaced First Edition of “Philosopher’s Stone” Among Rare “Potter” Books Auctioned by Hansons
It comes as no surprise to most Harry Potter fans that rare Harry Potter books can be worth a lot of money. (In some cases, they can be worth close to half a million dollars.) A recent auction from Hansons Auctioneers, an auction house in England, has proven that rare Harry Potter books remain popular – even when they’re covered in doodles, as it turns out.
On March 9, Hansons auctioned off multiple rare Potter books in its March the Library Auction. Among the lots in this auction were a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone described as being in “pristine” condition and a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that had seen quite a bit of damage and was purchased at a charity shop for just 50 pence (£0.50). We previously covered the pristine copy and are now able to report that it sold for £69,000.
According to a news report from Hansons, the winning bid for that copy came from an online bidder in the United States. The seller was reportedly pleased with how well the copy did at auction and was quoted by Hansons.
I’m very pleased with the result. Though it was a very good copy, the book wasn’t quite perfect. It won’t pay off my mortgage, but it will go a long way towards it!
Meanwhile, the copy of Philosopher’s Stone that was originally purchased for just £0.50 might look a bit rough around the edges, but Hansons reports that this “shabby” copy was sold for £15,500 despite its maximum estimated value of £3,000. (Interestingly, this one also went to an online bidder in the US.) Hansons contrasted the two copies in its report on how well the shabby copy did.
By contrast, in the same sale Hansons offered a pristine copy of the same book with an estimate of £40,000 to £60,000. It’s [sic] owner, a books collector, kept it in darkness to protect it from the light, within a protective cover, for 25 years before deciding to sell. It sold for a hammer price of £69,000 to a private international buyer.
You can read more about these two rare copies of Philosopher’s Stone in the press releases below. Note that the press release about the pristine copy was written after the auction ended, while the press release about the shabby copy was written prior to the auction.
Given the chance, would you purchase a rare Harry Potter book? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!