A first edition of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” complete with faults and signed by author J.K. Rowling, is up for private sale at Christie’s in London, with bids starting at $250,000 (£200,000).
The book was printed in an initial run of 500 hardback copies in 1997, and this edition is one of them. Three hundred were delivered to libraries.
Christie’s is selling one of the other 200 as part of its upcoming “The Art of Literature: Loan and Selling Exhibition.”
Mark Wiltshire, a specialist in printed books and co-curator of “The Art of Literature” exhibition, told Reuters, “There were a few things that they seemed to get wrong in the book creation.”
“On the back cover, “ philosophers, which is an important word, is misspelled as ‘philosophers,’ with the second ‘o’ missing. On page 53, the phrase “one wand” is repeated twice in the list of goods students are expected to bring to Hogwarts.”
Although Rowling was unknown at the time, her book about the magical world of witches and wizards became a worldwide sensation, generating a complete series and an extensive film franchise.
“For many individuals, this book is the tangible manifestation of a magical memory, which makes it so valuable,” Wiltshire added.
The public is welcome to attend Christie’s “Art of Literature” event from June 7 to 15.
Image at the top: Mark Wiltshire, a rare books specialist, and curator pose with a rare first edition on May 31, 2022, at Christie’s auction house in London.