This Man’s First Edition Copy of Harry Potter From 1997 May Fetch Over 40 Lakh in Auction

The book was bought in 1999 from Barnes & Noble. (Credit: Hanson's/twitter)

The book was bought in 1999 from Barnes & Noble. (Credit: Hanson’s/twitter)

The man from Luxembourg had bought the first book of the Harry Potter series, a rare first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone more than 2 decades ago to help his children learn English.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: October 1, 2020, 8:46 PM IST

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A Harry Potter hardbound book that was first bought in 1999 could very well fetch several lakhs at an auction later this month, its owner has found out, much to his disbelief.

The retired British expat is expected to come into this fortune at the Hansons’ Staffordshire Library Auction on October 13.


The man, who lives in Luxembourg and has chosen to stay anonymous, had bought the first book of the Harry Potter series, a rare first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone more than 2 decades ago to help his children learn English. He said the book has been sitting on his bookshelf since the past 21 years.

The hardcover copy of the children’s fantasy book is rare as only about 500 copies of those were printed at that time. The book is expected to fetch about 30,000 pounds, but Hansons expect the value to go up to even 50,000 pounds(Rs 48 lakh approximately) due to its perfect condition.

“A couple of months ago when JKR bounced into the main news I decided to re-read the Potter series. I knew there had been a few first editions sold recently and Hansons was featured on the BBC website so, just to be safe, I checked the criteria,” the man, who worked in aviation was quoted as saying.

“I did not think mine would be valuable as it was certainly not purchased when first published. I was very surprised and shocked to see that it did in fact tick all the boxes, but still could not quite believe it until I checked with Jim Spencer.”

The creator of the Harry Potter universe was recently embroiled in controversy after she had taken exception to an opinion piece titled “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate”. The British author had argued, over a Twitter thread, that “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased..”

The man recently discovered that the ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ book that was sitting on his bookshelf for over 20 years could reportedly earn him as much as 50,000 pounds (Rs 48 lakh approximately).

Jim Spencer, the book expert at Hansons’ said that finding a true first edition is seriously scarce as only 500 were printed, 300 of which were sent to schools and libraries. Spencer said the British man’s copy is extra rare as it is among those remaining 200.

There are many ways to identify a genuine first edition Harry Potter book that was published by Bloomsbury in 1997, Hansons Auctioneer said. One thing to look out for is the duplication of ‘1 wand’ on page 53, the other is the issue number, which will read: ‘10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1’ in the original copy.

The man said he had bought the books almost a year and a half after they were published in 1997. He added that his edition was bought by mail order from Barnes & Noble.



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