Signed Harry Potter books make magic in Edinburgh

Lyon & Turnbull's sale of Books, Maps & Manuscripts has concluded in Edinburgh with some intriguing results for collectors:

Surprisingly, one of the more successful lots was a set of photographs: 100 hand-tinted albumen prints from Japanese albums featuring:

Geisha girls, traders, musicians, tea ceremonies, massage, craftsmen, acrobats, silk worm teasing, actors, sumo wrestlers, itinerant tradesmen, temple at Kioto, the temple at Nagazaki, Nikko, Osaka, the Kintua Kugee temple, Kioto, the Buddha at Kamakura and Tokyo in the original lacquered pictorial album with bone onlays.

Listed at £1,000-1,500, the lot sold for £2,000.

Ian Fleming's Casino Royal
Ian Fleming's Casino Royal

As we suggested, the exceptional first edition of Ian Fleming's Casino Royal, which introduced the world to James Bond was the key lot. It sold for £11,000, within its estimate range, but this probably represents a bargain as it is very likely to increase its value as an investment.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the signed Harry Potter books did particularly well.

As regular readers will remember, a trio of books were on offer led by a first paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone signed by the author, J K Rowling with an unusually personal inscription, as she knew the family:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone autographed
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, autographed
(Click to see inscription)

"To Rowan/ I hear you are a very good judge of literature, so I want to know what you think of it!/ Lots of love Jo/ (J.K. Rowling!)".

In good condition, despite a pen mark above the 'A' of 'Harry' on the cover, the book was expected to sell for £1,500-2,000, but in fact achieved £2,800. The other two copies, again signed for 'Rowan', also did well against their estimates.

According to the industry's PFC40 autograph index, Rowling's signature was worth just £395 back in the year 2000. Today, its value is closer to £1,200, so the performance is not a complete surprise. Collectors and investors looking for a signed Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone may wish to know that another is available right now.


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