Ultra-Rare Proof Copy Of JK Rowlings First Harry Potter Book Auctioned For Up To $25,000 After Being Discovered At UK School

It’s a magical discovery that could be worth up to £20,000 ($25,000).

A school close to Oxford has found a proof copy of JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel after fearing that the ultra-rare book had been lost. Only 200 copies were believed to have been printed by Bloomsbury.

The book, which even spells Rowling’s name as JA Rowling at one point, was purchased in 1997 for £1 by St Kenelm’s Primary School in the English village of Minster Lovell.

It was available in the school’s library but went largely untouched as children preferred to pick up editions of the novel with illustrated covers.

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The school removed it from the library in 2002 after recognizing that the book may be valuable, but it went missing in 2015 and there were concerns it had been trashed with other old paperbacks. It was then rediscovered this year during a spring clean.

The uncorrected edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S.) is now being auctioned by Hansons Auctioneers on Tuesday. St Kenelm’s Primary School will use the money to help local children embrace literature.

Bob Alder, St Kenelm’s School’s retired headteacher, said: “It was quite by luck that the Harry Potter was spotted in the sale. It had none of the attractiveness of a typical child’s paperback.

“It cost £1. It was not thought to have any value. However, it was known from press coverage that the story was something special, and to read extracts to the children would encourage them to own their own copy.”

Jim Spencer, head of books at Hansons, said: “This book is where it all began. This is the very first appearance in print of the first Harry Potter novel.

“I have made several important Harry Potter discoveries but this is extra special, and a first for me. Since 2017 Hansons has sourced and sold 16 super rare hardback first editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which were published in the very first 500-book print run.

“This find is even more scarce. Not only that, it takes us back a stage further in the evolution of the multi-million-pound Potter phenomenon. This is an original proof copy of a book which went on to take the world by storm.”

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