A Rare First Edition "Harry Potter" Book Is in Private Sale, with Offers Starting at $250,000

The book is one of only 500 copies that were printed during an initial run in 1997.

First edition Harry Potter book
Photo: Jacob King / Getty Images

For many people, the whimsical world of Harry Potter is a core childhood memory. Whether you saw its magic leap off the page or through a television screen, the famous seven-part series is beloved by millions. If you're one of its fans, you surely know how incredible it would be to get your hands on a first edition copy of the book that started it all: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. That dream will soon become a reality for one attendee of a private auction being held by Christie's auction house.

The London-based auction house is selling an original copy of the first installment of the Harry Potter series during a private event this June. To receive entry to the event, Christie's is inviting offers starting from $250,000, Reuters reports.

The sale is part of the auction house's upcoming "The Art of Literature: Loan and Selling Exhibition." According to Christie's website, the event, which takes place from June 7 to June 15, offers exciting insights into the works of notable artists and writers including William Shakespeare, Peter Paul Rubens, Lucian Freud, Joan Mitchell, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, Peter Doig, and more.

The rare book includes several errors and a signature from its author, J.K. Rowling. "There were a few things that they seemed to get wrong in the book production," Mark Wiltshire, a specialist in printed books and co-curator of "The Art of Literature" exhibition, told Reuters. "On the back cover, for instance, philosophers, which of course is quite a key word... is misspelt 'philosphers', that 'o' that second 'o' is missing. Also on page 53, in the list of items which pupils are asked to take to Hogwarts with them, 'one wand' is repeated twice."

The book is one of only 500 copies that were printed during an initial run in 1997. Three hundred of those were sent to libraries and the one being auctioned off this month at Christie's is one of the other 200. "In many ways, this book is the physical manifestation of a magic memory for so many people and that's what makes it so desirable," Wiltshire told the outlet.

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