Rare Harry Potter book bought for S$1.65 20 years ago sells for S$47,550
The copy is a first edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone published in 1997 and was identified by two errors in the text.
A rare copy of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone that was purchased for £1 (S$1.67) around 20 years ago has been sold for £28,500 pounds (S$47,550).
It was revealed to be one of only 500 first edition copies that were printed of JK Rowling’s debut novel about the adventures of the boy wizard. It was identified by two errors in the text: A misspelling of "philosopher's" on the back page and a double mention of "1 wand" on page 53 in an equipment list. The hard copy was published by Bloomsbury on Jun 30, 1997.
The book was put up for auction on Wednesday (Jul 31), which coincidentally is Rowling’s (and her character's) birthday. It used to belong to the Staffordshire Library in the UK and had been marked “withdrawn from stock". It was bought by the owner at a rummage sale around 20 years ago.
According to Jim Spencer from auction house Hansons Auctioneers, which sold the book: “When our client bought the book for £1 all those years ago, no-one realised what a huge impact the Harry Potter stories would have globally. The majority of the books in that first print run went to schools and libraries. They are extremely rare. This is the holy grail for so many collectors."
Three bidders had battled for the book before it eventually went to a private UK collector.
The 54-year-old office worker who sold the book said: "I can't believe it. It's what I'd hoped for but I never really believed my book would make that price. I knew another Harry Potter first edition had sold for £28,000 but I was panicking as there had been no bids prior to the sale.”