Lyon & Turnbull foresees Harry Potter as best seller June 17

Harry Potter

Rare first edition of ‘Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone,’ inscribed and signed by author J.K. Rowling. Lyon & Turnbull image

EDINBURGH, Scotland – One of the few first edition copies of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, inscribed and signed by J.K. Rowling will be sold by Lyon & Turnbull auctioneers in Edinburgh on June 17. The book is expected to sell for £80,000-£120,000 ($101,300-$151,900). Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Famously the first edition, first impression, of the first Harry Potter book was printed only in 500 copies. Of these around 300 were given to libraries and schools and are typically in poor condition while of the remaining 200 copies only a handful were then inscribed by J.K. Rowling for friends, acquaintances and family members. This copy is one such work, inscribed: “6-9-97 / For James, Kate and Laura, with best wishes, J.K. Rowling.”

The date (September 1997) is less than three months after the book’s publication in June of that year.

At auction, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has reached high acclaim. Since 2016, signed copies of the first edition have risen in value from £46,000 to £130,000 in 2018.

The Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs auction on June 17 welcomes the book back to Edinburgh – widely regarded as the “home of Harry Potter.”

The boy wizard was dreamt up by Rowling on a delayed rail service between Manchester and London’s King’s Cross Station, however, Rowling has said: “… Edinburgh is very much home for me and is the place where Harry evolved over seven books and many, many hours of writing in its cafés.” In the past, Rowling has said that she imagines Hogwarts to be in Scotland: a claim corroborated by the Harry Potter films where the Hogwarts Express, is seen diving over the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands.

The auction consists of nearly 400 lots of rare books, manuscripts, maps and 19th century photographs.

Harry Potter

A handsomely rebound, very good copy of a later Dutch edition, circa 1745, of Delisle’s ‘Guillaume Atlas Nouveau,’ a French atlas first published in 1718. Estimate: £8,000-£12,000. Lyon & Turnbull image

Additional highlights include a collection related to Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns (1759-1796).

Harry Potter

Robert Burns handwritten letter to James Smith regarding Burns’ turbulent courtship with Jean Armour, whom he married. Estimate: £8,000-£12,000. Lyon & Turnbull image

The Lyon & Turnbull’s Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs auction will be conducted Wednesday, June 17, starting at 5 a.m. Eastern time.

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