A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first of J.K. Rowling's hugely successful novels about the boy wizard, sold for £43,750 at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale in London yesterday (9 November). This is a world record price for the book at public auction. The copy, described as being in exceptionally fine condition, had been estimated at £15,000-20,000 and was bought by a London-based businessman.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published in 1997 by Bloomsbury and became an instant bestseller. It scooped most children's literature awards in the UK and, after its publication in the USA under the title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 1988, stayed near the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list for most of 1999 and 2000. Like the succeeding novels in the seven book series, it was turned into a feature film making stars of its three young main actors and engaging a host of major British actors.
Bonhams Books and Manuscripts senior specialist Simon Roberts, said, "This was an exceptional price for a much-loved modern classic. The book was in excellent condition which added to its appeal for collectors and I am not surprised that it attracted so much interest and such intense bidding."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com