Harry Potter First Edition Sells For $471,000

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A first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series, has sold at auction for $471,000. Last Thursday, Heritage Auctions in Dallas, TX sold the book which was one of the first 500 hardcover copies of the novel published by Bloomsbury in 1997. Bidding for the copy opened at $75,000. Per Heritage Auctions executive Joe Maddalena, the copy is the most expensive Harry Potter first edition ever sold but the most expensive published 20th-century work of fiction sold.

“It’s the most expensive commercially published 20th-century work of fiction ever sold,” said Joe Maddalena, Heritage Auctions executive VP in a statement (via CNET). “This result shows the power of that combination of literature and cinema.”

Other copies from the same batch of books sold earlier this year for around $138,000. The final price of this particular book was reportedly the result of a “round of heated bidding”. The sale of the book was part of Heritage Auction’s Rare Books Signature auction which featured almost 70 first editions sold form a single collector’s library. Books in the auction represented literary works that have all been adapted into films, including J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, a copy of which sold for $103,125 at the auction, a lot of all seven books in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia which sold for $100,000, Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility which sold for $37,500 and Pride and Prejudice which sold for $60,000, as well as a signed first edition of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird which sold for $35,000, to name a few.

First published in the U.K. in June 1997 — it wouldn’t be published in the United States until over a year later in September 1998 where it was published as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — the book quickly became popular with the series ultimately growing to seven novels and spawning a massive media franchise, including a series of films, video games, theme park attractions, a Broadway show, and more. The series remains popular with readers and fans around the world, particularly with the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter film being celebrated this year.

What do you think about the amount this first edition Harry Potter novel brought at auction? Let us know in the comments.

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