Rare Harry Potter book set to fetch £30,000 at auction – how much is your copy worth?

An extremely rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone will go up for auction this week for £30,000.

The hardback edition of JK Rowling’s first book is one of only 500 copies in print, making it one of the rarest copies in the world, reports The Mirror.

A private owner will sell his copy, which he has owned since its purchase in 1997.

Chiswick Auctions will handle the sale on Thursday.

And with around 300 copies of the book sent to schools and libraries when it was published in 1997, that means only 200 made it into the hands of the public.

According to AbeBooks, an online book marketplace specializing in rare books, early hardcover editions of the first Harry Potter book credit Joanne Rowling as opposed to JK and have a print line that reads 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.

The auction house is also selling a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and a signed copy of Newt Scamander: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – both expected to fetch around £700.

The library of American novelist Paul Gallico is also part of the auction.

Gallico is credited with inspiring JK Rowling’s fictional creatures, Boggarts.

In his 1968 book Manxmouse, there are creatures called Clutterbumphs that transform into what the viewer fears most – just like Boggarts.

Clive Moss, Head of Rare Books at Chiswick Auctions, said: “The collection is a tangible reminder of a writer whose presence and works continue to [entertain and inspire] us so many years after his death.

“It’s a fabulous opportunity to be part of the continuing story that was, and is, Paul Gallico – a supreme writer and a talent with an enduring quality that never fails to grab and capture our attention.”

What to look for

First editions – especially of the first two books in the series – are worth at least £20 up to thousands of pounds.

Matthew Haley, head of books at Bonhams auction house, previously said: “Bonhams sold a set of first edition Harry Potter books in 2005 for £14,400, and on two occasions in 2007 sold copies of The Philosopher’s Stone for £9,000.

“This first book in the series is worth vastly more than subsequent volumes, and condition is paramount. More recently first editions of the first book in good condition have sold for around £4,000. Evidently authentic signatures or even better JK Rowling listings can add tremendous value.

Also look for rarer versions of the book – those with different covers, illustrations, large print – anything that is no longer available.

Where can I sell my books?

AbeBooks is a great place to go and find out how much copies like yours are selling for.

eBay and Amazon Marketplace also have older editions for sale.

Here’s what to look for and what’s worth what:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)

Hardback copies can sell for thousands of pounds as only 500 were printed.

Look for the print line that reads “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1” and the credit for “Joanne Rowling” not JK.

Standard first editions sell for between £20 and thousands of pounds – depending on their condition and print run.

You could get up to £1,800 for first editions of the 1999 Deluxe Edition and early Australian and US print releases.



In 2021 a rare first edition sold at auction for £80,000

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)

Published in 1998, the first hardcover editions make four figures and the first printed versions make hundreds.

Early versions of the deluxe editions make thousands.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)

In early versions of the book from 1999, there is an error on the copyright page in which Joanne Rowling is printed rather than JK.

If you’re in possession of one of these copies, it’s worth over £1,000.

First editions in good condition sell for a few hundred pounds, while any version of the deluxe edition will fetch anywhere from £15 to over £3,000 depending on edition and condition.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)

There are several versions of the fourth book – with the US and UK having different covers on their first editions.

These can sell for several hundred pounds depending on condition.

A standard copy of the first edition sells for around £10.

Quidditch Through the Ages / Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001)

First published as charity books for Comic Relief, these books have been reprinted several times, with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them turned into a film series.

Boxed hardback versions from 2001 could fetch upwards of £300, while undamaged paperbacks sell for upwards of £50 a pair and around £25 each.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)

JK Rowling was a global phenomenon at this point – meaning many first editions were printed and as a result they are worth considerably less than earlier versions.

Anything signed by JK Rowling increases the value to four figures and versions signed by the illustrator are worth over £100.

First editions in good condition, however, can cost up to £50.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)

First editions sell for as little as £6.

An illustrated deluxe edition could be worth hundreds, while undamaged adult cover versions can fetch upwards of £100.

A standard edition must be blank to win over £50.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)

Signed copies can be found for under £100 – due to the large numbers on the market.

That being said, a signed copy in good condition can fetch upwards of £1,000.

Books in excellent condition with rarer covers can still be worth over £100.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008)

Amazingly, this collector’s book is the most expensive Harry Potter book of all time (a hand-written copy fetched £1.95m at auction), whoever bought the collector’s edition was a winner.

At the time, these cost £50, but now sell for between £200 and £1,000.

Standard hardback editions fetch upwards of £50 provided they are in good condition.

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