A rare presentation copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, created, hand-written and illustrated by Harry Potter author JK Rowling, will feature at Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale on 13 December.
The book, which is estimated to reach £300,000-500,000, is one of only seven that J.K Rowling produced and was presented to British publisher Barry Cunningham, who famously accepted the first Harry Potter book for publication.
The copy holds considerable special significance, as Cunningham played an instrumental role in launching J.K Rowling’s career as an international best-selling author. In a dedication written in the front of the book, JK Rowling wrote: “To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell… THANK YOU”.
Cunningham recalls the experience of receiving the copy on 12 December 2007 as ‘unreal’, becoming ‘progressively more exciting’ as he opened a white jiffy envelope to reveal a beautiful, cloth-wrapped manuscript book, adorned with semi-precious stones and a sterling silver mounted skull. The original packaging, in which the copy was delivered, is included as part of the lot.
In 2007, a seventh copy produced specifically for sale at auction to raise money for J.K Rowling’s charity Lumos, was sold at Sotheby’s for a record-breaking £1.95 million.