Surpassing pre-sale estimates a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling fetched $150000 (about R2.1m) against a top estimate of $120000 at a recent Hindman Auctions disposal in Chicago.
The “exceptionally fine copy” of a signed first edition achieved what is reported to be the second highest price on auction for a first edition of the Rowling work.
The book, the first of the Potter novels, is part of one of the best-selling series of all time. According to Scholastic, more than 400 million Harry Potter titles have been sold worldwide, and they have been translated into 68 languages.
Joanne Rowling first had the idea for creating Harry Potter while delayed on a train travelling from Manchester to London in 1990. Over the next five years, she penned seven books of the series, writing mostly in longhand and amassing a mountain of notes – many on scraps of paper.
Other highlights from the Hindman auction included Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, which sold for $112500, and Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which was knocked down for $212500.