A rare Harry Potter book bought for £1 at a table top sale has sold for £28,500 at auction.
The first edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling’s debut novel, was purchased over the phone by a private UK collector.
The hard copy, published by Bloomsbury on 30 June 1997, is from a print run of just 500 identified by two errors in the novel’s text.
There is a misspelling of “philosopher’s” on the back page and a double mention of “1 wand” on page 53 in an equipment list.
The book sold at Bishton Hall, Staffordshire, on the author’s birthday on Wednesday.
The seller, a 54-year-old office worker who did not want to be named, said: “I can’t believe it. It’s what I’d hoped for but I never really believed my book would make that price.
“I knew another Harry Potter first edition had sold for £28,000 but I was panicking as there had been no bids prior to the sale.
The former Staffordshire Library book, stamped in red ink with “withdrawn from stock” on the inside, was bought by the owner at a table top sale around 20 years ago.
Jim Spencer, head of books and works on paper at Hansons Auctioneers, said it was “pure luck” that the auction was listed on the birthday of the author, who gave her fictional character Harry Potter the same birthday.
He said three phone bidders battled for the rare edition, which had been left in a cupboard in the owner’s home before being valued by auctioneers.
Mr Spencer said: “When our client bought the book for £1 all those years ago, no-one realised what a huge impact the Harry Potter stories would have globally.
“The majority of the books in that first print run went to schools and libraries. They are extremely rare.
“This is a landmark in children’s literature, but it appeals to young and old.
“Everybody knows this book. This is the holy grail for so many collectors.”