First Edition “Philosopher’s Stone” Up for Derbyshire Auction

Jul 04, 2019

Posted by: Gianfranco Lentini

Books, Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerers Stone, J.K. Rowling, News, Potter News, Publishers, Sales, Titles

Time to break open your niffler piggybanks and count your galleons, sickles and knuts…

A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is set to be auctioned at the end of the month with the Derbyshire auction house Hansons Auctioneers. Expected to bring in between £20,000 and £30,000, the book copy was instantly dubbed the “holy grail” by Hanson Auctioneers’ book expert Jim Spencer.

Philosopher's Stone Derbyshire Auction

According to Spencer, who received the call to appraise three boxes of books from a client in Staffordshire, “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.” However this time, the call rang true.

As for the client, who wishes to remain anonymous, they had purchased the book for a measly £1 about 20 years ago to do a bit of light reading on holiday. In their words, “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.”

And now nearly two decades later, there’s excitement at the thought that the book “might raise more than enough money to buy a nice new bathroom,” which would certainly put a smile on Dumbledore’s face.

Philosopher's Stone Derbyshire Auction

First published by Bloomsbury on June 30, 1997, only 500 hard copy prints of the book were released, which has only increased the rarity of possessing one of these infamous copies. And according to Hansons, another coveted copy recently sold with another auction house for £28,000, while another bearing J.K. Rowling’s signature went for £68,000.

Now you may be scratching your head with your wand wondering, Is my copy of Philosopher’s Stone a first edition print? Here’s how you can tell:

1) On the title page, J.K. Rowling’s name appears as Joanne Rowling
2) Again on the title page, the print line number reads 10987654321
3) On page 53, the list of equipment in Harry’s Hogwarts acceptance letter mentions “1 wand” twice
4) Last, the back page misspells “philosopher’s” as “philospher’s”

(Clearly mistakes only Muggles would make…)

Philosopher's Stone Derbyshire Auction

Philosopher's Stone Derbyshire Auction

The book is set for auction with Hansons’ Library Auction on July 31 from 9:00-10:30 a.m., which coincidentally enough, is also the birthday of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling. Quite the happiest of birthdays, indeed!

Entries for submitting to the Library Auction close on July 5, and any witch or wizard interested in learning more about this auction can email Jim Spencer at [email protected].

And this isn’t the only copy of Philosopher’s Stone making headlines in the last week. Check out Leaky’s recent report of the hardback copy bearing Daniel Radcliffe’s very first autograph that just pulled in £2,600 at an auction in Thornaby, Stockton.

All images featured courtesy of Hansons Auctioneers.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.