TORONTO – Like a priceless Horcrux left in a bathroom at Hogwarts Castle, the true value of a newly discovered children’s book does not emerge until years later.
A rare first hardcover issue of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” – the first in JK Rowling’s famous series – sold for around $ 84,500, after it was discovered by an Englishwoman who was helping clean her mother’s house.
According to Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers, the book is one of 500 copies of the first print run published by Bloomsbury in 1997. In a tweet, the auction house also mentioned selling another first edition for $ 114,900, along with other rare Potter books also for $ 84,500.
In the press release, Charlotte Rumsey said the book has been with her mother in Blackpool, UK since she moved there in 2003. Rumsey said her mother Karen “can’t believe she has had such a precious book sitting on her bookshelf all that. time. ”
“Things like that don’t happen to normal families like us. Our friends are thrilled for us, ”Rumsey said in the statement.
Rumsey hadn’t initially realized that she had essentially caught the snitch with the discovery. The book was meant to be sold at an exchange meeting – in a box full of other rubbish, she thought each would make less than a dollar.
“I had helped Mom extricate herself during the lockdown as she downsized. We had a lot set aside for a car boot sale in Blackpool, including the Harry Potter book we had since 1999. A family friend We gave it to me and my brothers for me to do. read because they thought we might enjoy it, ”she explained.
But what prompted Rumsey to reconsider the book’s value was watching Antiques Roadshow on TV, where someone found out he had kept rare Harry Potter books worth $ 22,000. It was then that Rumsey called his mother to check on the book they had.
“She took it out of the box and I started reading the trouble spots that identify her as the first edition. As she turned the pages to verify each one, everything seemed to be exactly the same, ”said Rumsey, which led them to contact the Hansons Auctioneers whose book expert Jim Spencer told him. confirmed.
“I am delighted for the family. Charlotte said she was hopping around, and the hairs stood on end on her arms, when she got my call confirming it was a first problem, ”Spencer said.
This was the fifth hardcover edition of the “Philosopher’s Stone” which he had discovered in 18 months.
“Of the 500 copies printed, 300 went to schools and libraries – so this is a good example of one of the rarest 200 copies that went into stores,” Spencer explained.
The Hansons auction house, which prides itself on having discovered the first hardback editions of this book, sold its latest edition in October for a whopping $ 101,396.
The Harry Potter book and film series has been a painful subject for many fans recently after author JK Rowling was accused of making transphobic statements on social media.
The author of “Harry Potter” shared an opinion piece titled “Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for Menstruating People”, calling for the use of the phrase “menstruating people”.
“I’m sure there was a word for these people,” Rowling wrote in a tweet. “Someone is helping me. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud? ”
There was a swift reaction from fans as well as publishing houses, such as Indigo Books, who condemned his statement, saying, “It’s disappointing for us that JK Rowling, an author we admire and support and that our customers have supported so much, make statements. incompatible with our values. ”