Harry Potter first edition breaks auction record

A first edition, first printing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has set a new auction record for JK Rowling's debut novel.

A fresh to the market copy of the rare tome auctioned for £47,120 ($61,000) in London last week.

Harry Potter first edition

Just 500 first edition, first printings ever existed

That surpasses the £43,750 achieved by another example at Bonhams in November last year.

First printings of the book are hugely rarely and highly prized.

Just 500 were produced, all in hardback and all in 1997.

Three-hundred of those 500 went to libraries and are in well-thumbed condition, if they've survived at all. Only 200 were bought privately and many of these show signs of use (as they should). It's what made this superb-condition example particularly appealing to collectors.

“We are delighted with the world record price,” said Clive Moss, director of children’s books and illustrative art at the auctioneer.

Do you think you have one of the 500 at home? Check page 53. If Harry's list of supplies for Hogwarts includes two mentions of "1 wand", it's a first edition, first printing.

The error was corrected for future printings.

Twenty years on from the first book, prices are soaring for Potter and Rowling memorabilia, as the children who grew up with the books and films become wage earning adults keen to own their childhood nostalgia.

The chair on which Rowling sat to write the first two books auctioned for $397,000 at Heritage Auctions last year. Daniel Radcliffe's screen-used Harry Potter glasses sold for $18,750 in 2012.

We have a signed copy of JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy for sale. 

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