You're a collector's item, Harry 🧙📕
Is there a dog-eared copy of Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stonecollecting dust under your bed?
If so, it might be worth more than just its sentimental value.
An early copy of the J.K. Rowling classic just sold for US$471,000 at auction, in what was reportedly a world record-setting sale.
"Not only is it the most expensive Harry Potter book ever sold, it's the most expensive commercially published 20th-century work of fiction ever sold, " Joe Maddalena, executive vice president of Heritage Auctions, said in a statement on Thursday.
In other words, it's the most valuable book that you might've actually been able to buy when it first came out.
The book was a first-edition hardcover copy of Potter and one of only 500 in the world, the auction house said. Other copies from the same run have also sold for six figures, with two copies recently fetching more than $138,000.
Video shared by the auction house shows the bidding in progress. It also shows details about how they know the book is authentic.
"First edition hardcover, with '1 wand' listed twice on page 53 and without a space between 'Taylor' and '1997' on the seventh line," the awfully specific listing says.
A new #WORLDRECORD for Harry Potter!\n\nA first edition hardback of #JKRowling\u2019s \u201c#HarryPotter and the Philosopher's Stone\u201d opened live bidding at $75,000. Heated bidding drove the final price to $471,000. Auctioneer Mike Provenzale makes the magical call!https://fal.cn/3kwLG\u00a0pic.twitter.com/Epor6e40VG— Heritage Auctions (@Heritage Auctions) 1639078139
They didn't say who bought the book for $471K other than to describe the person as an "American collector."
We're pretty sure the ending is the same when you buy the $15 version of the book, but to each their own, right?
Maddalena suggested that the sale might have something to do with the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film. That anniversary passed in November and HBO Max is preparing to release a big reunion special to mark the occasion on New Year's Day.
Like they never left. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: #ReturnToHogwarts premieres New Year's Day on HBO Max.pic.twitter.com/6MBjWTjJbc— HBO Max (@HBO Max) 1639014300
"This result shows the power of that combination of literature and cinema," Maddalena said. "These books are being rewarded for the results of their films."
Harry Potter ended up being the crown jewel of a major Heritage Auctions book sale earlier this month, although it wasn't the only one to go for big money. J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy fetched $103,125 in the same auction, while a full collection of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia sold for an even $100,000.
Both sets of books were first editions in pristine condition, the auction house says.
So — check your bookshelves!
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