For the third time in a year, a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling has set a new world auction record, selling for £106,250 (roughly $140,738) at Bonhams in London on November 15. It had been estimated at £30,000-40,000.
The book was inscribed to a friend and her family: ‘For Meera, Donnie, Nastassia and Kai, with lots of love from Jo (also known as J.K. Rowling)”.
The inscription is dated one month and a day after the book was published on 26 June 1997, this being one of the first copies supplied to Rowling by the publisher.
Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said, “There is always a great deal of interest when first editions of Harry Potter books come to auction, especially, of course, in the very first one in the series. This particular example was not only in excellent condition, but it had the added attraction of a very personal inscription from the author herself.”
The sale made a total of £1,716,175 with premium.
The British first edition has earned a reputation for being an exceptionally valuable modern book: Only 500 copies were printed, and 300 of those went to libraries. In November 2016, Bonhams sold a copy for £43,750 ($57,929). This past September, Heritage Auctions sold one for $81,250.