In an auction that made Potterheads everywhere salivate and turn green with envy, one lucky person now has in their possession a first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone… and only paid the tidy sum of £150,000 ($226,000) for it.
But this first edition isn’t just any first edition – it contains JK Rowling’s notes and original illustrations throughout!
The Harry Potter collectible was part of a number of other books auctioned off by Sotherby’s in London on Tuesday in a charity auction to aid the English Pen Writer’s Association. Fifty major contemporary authors donated a first edition of one of their most famous works. Each of the books had been scribbled on and annotated by their authors. The lucky owner of the Harry Potter tome was an anonymous telephone bidder.
The Guardian describes some examples of Rowling’s scribbling as “comments on the process of writing and a section from an early draft of the novel, along with a number of illustrations drawn by her and a note on how she came to invent Quidditch”. In total 43 pages of the book are annotated and it contains 22 Rowling illustrations, including a sleeping baby Harry left on the Dursley’s doorstep at 4 Privet Drive. Sotheby’s director of printed books Philip Errington told The Guardian in the lead up to the auction: “The personality of the author leaps from these pages and we are treated to a remarkable insight into her creative genius”.
The auction raised a total of £439,200 ($662,000) for the charity. Other books on auction included a copy of Roald Dahl’s Matilda featuring new illustrations by Quentin Blake which sold for £30,000 ($45,200), a copy of Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader for £11,000 ($16,600) and a copy of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day which brought in £18,000 ($27,100).