Signed first edition of “Philosopher’s Stone” to be auctioned in London on Wednesday

philosophersstonecovers

Mar 11, 2020

Posted by: Amanda Kirk

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

***UPDATE*** This book sold for £ 118,812 (US$ 148,118).

First editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, both signed and unsigned, have fetched breathtaking amounts at auction over the years.  But the copy going under the hammer tomorrow at Bonhams, with bidding expected to reach £70,000-90,000, is particularly special:  It’s signed to Bryony Evens, the office manager from Christopher Little who picked up the first three chapters of Philosopher’s Stone from a pile of unsolicited manuscripts, and pushed for her employer to request the whole book.  When J.K. Rowling met Evens for the first time at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, she hugged her, and wrote in her book: “To Bryony – who is the most important person I have ever met in a signing queue & the first person to see merit in Harry Potter. With huge thanks. J K Rowling.”

imagePhilosopher’s Stone was purchased by Bloomsbury for the modest sum of £2,500.  There were only 500 hardcover books in the first printing.  According to this article in The Edinburgh News, previous first editions have gone for eye-watering sums:

The world record price for a first edition was set in December 2018 when a signed copy made £127,565 at Christie’s in New York.In November 2019, another signed copy fetched £117,000 at Hindman Auctions in Chicago.InMarch 2019, a copy that belonged to Rowling’s literary agent Christopher Little – and came with a sticker with Rowling’s signature – fetched £68,812 at Bonhams in London.”

Leaky has covered some previous auctions of Harry Potter books and memorabilia.  Read about a few of them here and here and here.

 





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