Books

Rare ‘Harry Potter’ book featuring misspelled title fetches $90,000 at auction

Over 550 Harry Potter First Editions Go Up For Auction
A collection of 550 first edition “Harry Potter” books are displayed in 2008 in London.
(Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images)

A rare first edition of a “Harry Potter” book featuring a misspelled title fetched about $90,000 at an auction last week, the Independent reported Friday.

The copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (published in the U.S. as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”), the first book in J.K. Rowling’s beloved series of novels featuring the young British wizard, was one of only 500 printed by publisher Bloomsbury in 1997.

The book features a few mistakes that have rendered it, and other copies like it, especially valuable. The most glaring error is a misspelling of the title on the book’s back cover, which refers to the novel as “Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone.”

The book contains an autograph from Rowling, who is referred to as “Joanne Rowling” on the publisher’s copyright page.

Bonhams, the London-based auction house that sold the book, initially anticipated it selling for somewhere between $50,000 and $78,000.

Matthew Haley, head of books and manuscripts for Bonhams, praised the book’s condition, UPI reported Monday.

“Like most enduring books aimed at younger readers, the Harry Potter books also have wide appeal to adults and there is a strong market among collectors for first editions,” Haley said. “This copy is in excellent condition — one of the very best I’ve seen.”

This isn’t the first time one of the rare copies of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” has gone under the hammer. In 2017, a similar edition of the novel sold at an auction in Dallas for just over $80,000.

That same year, an inscribed copy of the book sold at Bonhams for more than $130,000, setting a new world record, according to the auction house.

“Harry Potter” memorabilia has a history of fetching high prices at auction. In 2016, the chair that Rowling used while writing two of the books in her series sold at an auction for almost $400,000.

Later that year, a handwritten copy of Rowling’s “The Tales of Beedle the Bard,” a book of children’s stories set in the “Harry Potter” universe, went for more than $480,000 at an auction in London.