Rare Harry Potter book from Wolverhampton Library now worth thousands after being bought for 30p
A Harry Potter book that was withdrawn from Wolverhampton Library and sold on for 30p is an ultra-rare first edition set to make thousands at auction.
The hardback copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first in the series of books by JK Rowling, is now estimated to make between £3,000 and £5,000 when it goes under the hammer.
Published by Bloomsbury in 1997, the first edition, first impression with laminated boards is one of only 500 produced and of those, one of only 300 sent to libraries.
It goes under the hammer as Lot 299 in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Antiques & Home Sale at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Fradley Park, on Monday, July 10, starting at 9.30am.
A team from Richard Winterton Auctioneers discovered it after a painstaking search of hundreds of boxes - the personal possessions of a young, local man.
“What an amazing find! Withdrawn and discarded from the library, bought for 30p and now worth thousands of pounds,” said auctioneer Richard Winterton.
“The book still bears its library identification, spine sticker with the letter J, subsequent withdrawal stamp and 30p selling price.
“It has clearly been well-read, which is most befitting of one of the initial run of books which helped fuel the early popularity of Potter – which, of course, rapidly evolved into a global phenomenon.
“We have placed an estimate of £3,000 to £5,000 on the book because of its much-loved condition but other examples have fetched much more than this at auction.
“It will certainly be a magical moment when it goes under the hammer at Lichfield on July 10.”
The book was part of the personal collection of a Staffordshire man who had a lifelong passion for books and ephemera.
He lived in Brereton, Rugeley, for a number of years before latterly moving to Chase Terrace, Burntwood, and passed away unexpectedly at the beginning of the year aged 55.
The man’s sister, who asked not to be named, said: “He started dealing in books and memorabilia when he was still at school.
“He would go to jumble sales and church fairs and would come back with a pile of annuals or comics.
“He would then take them to a second-hand shop in Hednesford to sell or take them in to school to swap with friends. That was his passion from an early age onwards.”
The family knew that he had acquired a valuable Harry Potter book but feared it had gone astray.
“When he moved house four years ago he literally put everything into hundreds of boxes, many of which went into containers,” his sister added.
“We knew that he had got the book but if you asked him to pinpoint it he couldn’t. So for the last four years this book has been ‘lost’ and I think we had come to the conclusion that it had disappeared into the ether somewhere.
“Now it’s come to light again we, as a family, are quite excited.”
The catalogue for the July 10 auction will be online a week before the sale via richardwinterton.co.uk/auction-dates and viewing in person at The Lichfield Auction Centre takes place on Friday, July 7 from 10am-4pm.
For more information, to book a free valuation or to discuss house clearances and large collections, telephone 01543 251081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.