Home 5 News 5 Scottish Woman’s Bargain Find Yields Huge Auction Gain

Scottish Woman’s Bargain Find Yields Huge Auction Gain

by | Dec 14, 2023 | News

 

A rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone has sold at auction for an “eye-watering” £55,104.

A copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was spotted in a bargain bucket in the Scottish Highlands by a 58-year-old local woman who has not been named, she found the book during a family caravan holiday in Wester Ross 26 years ago, and was auctioned by Hansons on December 11 this year.

The book came without a dust jacket so was initially sold to the woman for a reduced price of £10. It ended up on a remote Scottish peninsula. She let it sit in a cupboard under the stairs for years, just like the titular character of the novel but it remained in pristine condition, unlike other originals which often decayed in children’s rucksacks. Hansons Auctioneers said the book was one of 200 copies distributed to shops from its first-ever print run, with a recommended retail price of £10. The elated seller found out about the fantasy series after reading one of J K Rowling’s first interviews in national newspaper The Scotsman, in the late 1990s.

The recently retired third sector manager explained that she bought the book with minimal knowledge of the series, before it became a bestseller and worldwide hit.

She said: ‘I bought the Harry Potter book before anyone really knew much about it, or the author. I found it during a family caravan trip touring round the highlands of Scotland.

‘I discovered a bookshop café on an isolated peninsula after driving miles on a single-track road in the north-west of Scotland.

‘I recognised the distinctive book cover straight away. The book seller had placed it in a wicker “bargain bucket” basket on the floor.

Because it had no dust jacket, I got a couple of pounds knocked off the price. Our two children enjoyed the wizard tale as a bedtime story all through that holiday in 1997.’

Hansons Auctioneers claim that the first book in the series is the rarest and most valuable – essentially gold dust for collectors.

Jim, a world-renowned expert on Potter finds, called the discovery “astonishing”. “These first issues are getting harder and harder to find. This must be one of the few remaining copies that’s been in private hands since it was purchased in 1997.

“It’s astonishing it ended up on a remote Scottish peninsula, and it was all down to an article in The Scotsman – and perhaps a dusting of magic – that encouraged the inquisitive and very lucky buyer to pluck it from the bargain bin,” he added.

This is the 19th hardback Philosopher’s Stone first edition out of the original 500 discovered by Mr Spencer.

They have sold at auction for between £17,500 and £69,000, plus buyer’s premium, dependent on condition.

He has also uncovered numerous paperback first issues which have achieved as much as £8,500.

 

Recent News

22Feb
YS Chi Wins 2024 Book Fair Lifetime Award

YS Chi Wins 2024 Book Fair Lifetime Award

YoungSuk “YS” Chi, Chairman of Elsevier and the Association of American Publishers, has been announced as the recipient of the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award by the London Book Fair.   This prestigious award acknowledges individuals who have made a significant impact on the global book industry. It is open to professionals such as publishers, agents, […]

21Feb
Muscat Book Fair: Global Stories, Local Spotlight

Muscat Book Fair: Global Stories, Local Spotlight

The 28th installment of the Muscat International Book Fair commenced on February 21 at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, featuring an extensive assortment of over 600,000 titles from 34 countries. This year’s focal point was on Palestine, exploring various facets of the crisis, while the overarching theme revolved around artificial intelligence, encompassing numerous events […]

21Feb
Booksellers Call for Gaza Ceasefire

Booksellers Call for Gaza Ceasefire

There were calls for the American Booksellers Association (ABA) to address the situation in Gaza at the organisation’s annual Winters’s Institute meeting, this year held in Cincinnati. At various sessions, booksellers voiced their frustration that the body has, so far, not backed calls for a ceasefire.  One member, identifying as “a Jewish person for Palestine,” […]

Related Posts

Muscat Book Fair: Global Stories, Local Spotlight

Muscat Book Fair: Global Stories, Local Spotlight

The 28th installment of the Muscat International Book Fair commenced on February 21 at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, featuring an extensive assortment of over 600,000 titles from 34 countries. This year's focal point was on Palestine, exploring various...

Booksellers Call for Gaza Ceasefire

Booksellers Call for Gaza Ceasefire

There were calls for the American Booksellers Association (ABA) to address the situation in Gaza at the organisation’s annual Winters’s Institute meeting, this year held in Cincinnati. At various sessions, booksellers voiced their frustration that the body has, so...

SBA at New Delhi World Book Fair

SBA at New Delhi World Book Fair

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has strengthened its ties with the Indian publishing sector through its participation in the 51st New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF). The event showcased Sharjah's global accomplishments in the publishing and creative industries,...

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this

Pin It on Pinterest