JK Rowling's Beedle the Bard auctions for $453,000

A handwritten copy of JK Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard has sold for £368,750 ($452,714) this afternoon.

The incredible piece led Sotheby's English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustration sale in London earlier today.

Rowling surprised six friends and colleagues with a handwritten copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Rowling made seven copies of the book, six of which she handed out to friends and colleagues who supported her in the writing of her enormously successful Harry Potter series.

She gave this one to her publisher Barry Cunningham, who was responsible for signing the first book to Bloomsbury.

It's inscribed: "To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell…THANK YOU."

This is the second of these books to come to auction.

The first was sold for charity in 2008, when it raised £1.7m ($1.9m) for Rowling's charity Lumos.

Dr Philip W Errington, head of the books and manuscripts department at Sotheby's, comments: "The personal resonance of this book makes this both an exceptional and highly desirable object to come to auction.

"It is particularly special as it is only one of six made for those closest to the author throughout the journey of creating the Harry Potter series, gifted to the man who recognised the brilliance of JK Rowling's writing and her potential impact on children's literature."

The key to Oscar Wilde's cell at Reading Gaol also sold well, tripling its £5,000 ($6,139) estimate to make £15,000 ($18,416).

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