Got $250K? A Rare Harry Potter Book Beckons

Christie's is selling first edition of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' in London
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2022 4:05 PM CDT
Got $250K? A Rare Harry Potter Book Beckons
This May 20, 2013, file photo shows a first-edition copy of the first Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," at Sotheby's auction house in London.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

(Newser) – A rare first edition of the very first book in JK Rowling's Harry Potter series is about to go on the auction block. Reuters reports that Christie's of London will be holding a private sale this month for the copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which was eventually rebranded in the US as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The book, which is signed by Rowling, is one of 500 printed in a first run in 1997, 200 of which are now believed to be in private hands. The other 300 or so have been distributed to libraries.

This particular version, which is said to be among those owned individually, is notable for the errors found throughout that initial print run. Among them: the word "philosopher's" spelled incorrectly on the back cover (it's missing the second "o"), as well as a repeat of the term "one wand" on Page 53. "There were a few things that they seemed to get wrong in the book production," a printed-book specialist tells Reuters. Christie's, which is including the fantasy novel in its "Art of Literature: Loaning and Selling Exhibition," is inviting bids starting at $250,000. The exhibition starts Monday and runs through July 14. (Read more Harry Potter stories.)

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