Rare copy of Harry Potter sells at auction for £50,000

Rare copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that was rescued from pile of 50p books destined for car boot sale sells at auction for £50,000

  • Charlotte Rumsey, 28, from Preston, Lancashire, discovered the hardback copy
  • Harry Potter book was one of only 500 editions printed by Bloomsbury in 1997
  • Copy sold for a staggering £50,000 at Hanson’s Auctioneers in Derby on Friday

A rare copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has sold for £50,000 at auction after it was rescued from a pile of 50p books destined for a car boot sale. 

Charlotte Rumsey, 28, from Preston, Lancashire, discovered the hardback copy while she was helping her mother Karen, 59, declutter while moving out in Blackpool. 

The hardback copy, which was one of only 500 editions printed by Bloomsbury in 1997, sold for the staggering amount at Hanson’s Auctioneers in Derby on Friday.  

Charlotte Rumsey, 28, from Preston, Lancashire, discovered the hardback copy while she was helping her mother Karen, 59, declutter while moving out in Blackpool 

Solicitor Charlotte put the J.K Rowling novel into a pile of 50p for the car boot sale.

However after watching BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, Charlotte realised some rare Potter books were worth thousands of pounds.   

The book as given to the family by a friend in 1999 and Charlotte said: ‘Mum simply can’t believe she had such a valuable book sitting on her bookshelf all that time.’ 

Charlotte had the book’s history confirmed by experts and Jim Spencer of Hanson’s Auctioneers (pictured) said it was fifth hardback issue he had uncovered in 18 months

The copy was one of the 500 printed in Bloomsbury of which 300 were in schools and libraries and 200 were in private ownership. 

Charlotte had the book’s history confirmed by experts and Jim Spencer of Hanson’s Auctioneers said it was fifth hardback issue he had uncovered in 18 months.  

There are various ways to identify the first issue of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, published by Bloomsbury in 1997, with one clue being the duplication of the phrase ‘1 wand’ on page 53.

Other telltale signs include the word ‘philosopher’ having the wrong spelling on the back cover and the author’s name appearing as Joanne Rowling on the inside page

The book as given to the family by a friend in 1999 and Charlotte (pictured in 2000 with her brother Callum, left, and Cameron, right) said: ‘Mum simply can’t believe she had such a valuable book sitting on her bookshelf all that time.

However, according to auctioneers, the best indicator is the issue number must read: ’10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1′.  

The book paved the way to Harry Potter mania across the world with six sequels, 500 million copies sold and hit movie adaptations starring Daniel Radcliffe. 

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