After a first edition copy of J. K. Rowling’s first book, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” sold in March for 69,000 pounds ($85,118, €80,228), an even rarer edition is set to go under the hammer today. Released a decade ago, the 15th-anniversary edition of the Harry Potter debut was published exclusively for 15 competition winners and is signed and dedicated by author Rowling.
In 2012, publisher Bloomsbury launched a nationwide competition to find the UK’s “biggest Harry Potter fan,” with entries invited to make their case in 50 words. One lucky winner of the leather-bound edition was then 16-year-old Chloe Esslemont.
The special edition will be sold by the UK’s Hansons Auctioneers, which sell rare books and specializes in sought-after Harry Potter editions.
Hansons’ books expert Jim Spencer has built a reputation on his rare Potter finds yet says this book is unique.
“Technically, this is the rarest Harry Potter book I have ever handled — and I have assessed hundreds,” he stated on the Hansons website. While copies from among the original 500 hardback copies of “The Philosopher’s Stone” from the first-ever print run in 1997 are the most valuable — Spencer has found 18 and sold one for £69,000 in February — “this new find is particularly scarce,” he said.
Despite the book’s rarity, is it priced lower than a first edition because it is the first ever sold — and maybe the last.