UPDATED: Early Proofs of “Philosopher’s Stone” Going Up for Auction
Several Harry Potter books and other manuscripts are going up for auction this Thursday, April 28, at Chiswick Auctions in London. First editions and rare copies of Potter books can fetch a pretty penny, and this auction will be no different.
The theme of this auction is “Fine Books & Works on Paper,” which boasts a collection of 294 sets of books, maps, sketches, portraits, and much more.
Of the Potter-related items for sale, none is expected to fetch more than the galley proof copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. A galley proof is a book that is used for promotional purposes before it enters final proofreading. The marketing manager of Bloomsbury Children’s Books at the time, Rosamund Walker, sent this galley proof to the children’s book reviewer, Fiona Waters. This rare proof copy is expected to earn as much as £30,000 ($38,000) at the auction. Coming in second at approximately £28,000 ($35,000) will most likely be the first-edition and first printing copy of Philosopher’s Stone signed by the author herself.
Other Potter items at the auction will include the following:
- A first-edition paperback of Philosopher’s Stone signed by the author
- A proof copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- A first-edition copy of Quidditch Through the Ages signed by Daniel Radcliffe
- A first-edition copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows signed by the author
- A boxed set of all seven novels signed by the author
- A hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets signed by the author
- A paperback copy of Chamber of Secrets signed by the author
- A first-edition set of the first three novels in the series signed by the author
Other noteworthy items for sale in terms of children’s literature include various works by J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. First editions of Gothic classics Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux are also up for auction. A complete first-edition set of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels is anticipated to beat out the rest at up to £60,000 ($75,000).
If you had the money, what piece of Potter memorabilia would you drop $40,000 for? Let us know in the comments!
UPDATE (May 1):
The auction has finished, and the galley proof copy of Philosopher’s Stone sold for £37,500 (about $47,000). According to an article in the Irish Independent, “a frenzied bidding war was won by a private collector bidding on the telephone from overseas.”
The final prices of the other lots from the same auction can be viewed on the Chiswick Auctions website. Interestingly, it appears that not all of the Harry Potter lots sold at this auction, including the copy of Quidditch Through the Ages signed by Daniel Radcliffe.