Tag: auction

What?! How Much Did This ‘Harry Potter’ Sell For?

Back in July, we here at Bookstr reported that a fist edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone had sold at auction for £28,500, or, $34,650.73! Finishing that article, we said that “Sadly, you can’t get this copy anymore since, well, you know, it’s been bought for a gigantic amount of money” but turns out we were wrong!

 

 

The long and short of it is that back in the day, when J.K. Rowling wrote the first of seven books (seven? Wow!), it was entitled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and later re-titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone because British publishers weren’t confident American children would know what a ‘philosopher’ was.

Back on June 26th 1997, Bloomsbury published Philosopher’s Stone with an initial print-run of five thousand copies in hardback, three hundred of which were distributed to libraries. The series made serious money—making J.K. Rowling the world’s first person to gain billionaire status from book-writing alone—and those original five thousand copies are now highly valued.

This 1997 edition contains two tell-tale errors: the misspelling of ‘philosopher’s’ on the back page and a double mention of “1 wand” on page 53 in an equipment list.

 

Harry Potter, first edition
IMAGE VIA ITV

 

Now another first edition has has sold for over £46,000 (roughly $57,303) at auction in the U.K, with the buyer paying a total of £57,040 (roughly $71,000) to cover both fees and taxes.

 

Front and Back cover image of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Image Via The Verge

 

Shockingly, this first edition of Harry Potter was expected to fetch between £20,000 and £30,000 (roughly $24,000 to $37,000), but a telephone bidding war Thursday skyrocketed the final price. This is happened because, according to the Hansons Auctioneers in Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England, there were four phone bidders, as well as internet bidders, that helped boost the book from its estimated selling point.

It also might be because the book was kept in pristine condition in a locked briefcase for 20 years, reports the BBC. Jim Hanson, the Hansons book expert, told the Birmingham Mail he “couldn’t believe the condition” of the auctioned book, saying its quality was “almost like the day it was made. I can’t imagine a better copy can be found.”

 

Back cover

IMAGE VIA BBC/NOTE THAT “PHILOSOPHER’S” IS SPELLED AS “PHILOSPHER’S” HERE

 

The book was in such great condition because after the owners realized this edition’s importance, they planned to keep it as an heirloom. What made them decide to sell the book was after they heard about that first edition Philosopher’s Stone selling for over $35,000 in July.

Can’t say I blame them! Unsurprisingly, once the decided to sell the book, Hanson says that:

The owners took such great care of their precious cargo they brought it to me in a briefcase, which they unlocked with a secret code. It felt like we were dealing in smuggled diamonds.

Who can blame them?

 

 

Featured Image Via The Daily Express 

First Edition ‘Harry Potter’ Sells For Over $34,000!

Remember that rare copy of the first Harry Potter book that was up for auction? Well, it finally sold for an astonishing £28,500, or, $34,650.73!

 

Wow face

IMAGE VIA IMGFACE

 

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past twenty years, here’s the skinny: J.K. Rowling wrote seven books and the first one is called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was later re-titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone because British publishers weren’t confident American children would know what a ‘philosopher’ was.

On June 26th 1997, Bloomsbury published Philosopher’s Stone with an initial print-run of five thousand copies in hardback, three hundred of which were distributed to libraries. The series made serious money—making J.K. Rowling the world’s first person to gain billionaire status from book-writing alone—and those original five thousand copies are now highly valued.

This 1997 edition contains two tell-tale errors: the misspelling of ‘philosopher’s’ on the back page and a double mention of “1 wand” on page 53 in an equipment list.

 

Harry Potter, first edition

Image Via ITV

This book, despite being bought by the owner at a table top sale around twenty years ago, and being left in a cupboard in the owner’s home, is in near pristine condition. In fact, the book still features a “withdrawn from stock” stamp in red ink.

 

The former Staffordshire Library book has a ‘withdrawn from stock’ stamp

Image Via ITV

Thus, it should be no surprise that this first edition sold for so much. In fact, the auction at Bishton Hall, in Staffordshire saw bids from all over the world. That fact alone makes it a little less surprising that the winning bid came in by phone from a private UK collector.

That’s just amazing. Can you imagine that? “Hello, I’d like to spend about twenty-eight-thousand-five-hundred pounds on a book.”

 

Back cover

Image Via BBC/Note that “Philosopher’s” is spelled as “philospher’s” here

 

“I can’t believe it. It’s what I’d hoped for but I never really believed my book would make that price,” Itv quotes the anonymous seller, who went on to add that, “I knew another Harry Potter first edition had sold for £28,000 but I was panicking as there had been no bids prior to the sale. When I checked to see if it had sold, I was amazed.”

You’re not kidding!

 

 

The auctioneers claim that it was “pure luck” that the book was listed for auction on the day of J.K. Rowling’s birthday, the same birthday that she gave our favorite magical protagonist Harry Potter, but what do you think?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

IMAGE VIA THE SUN

Sadly, you can’t get this copy anymore since, well, you know, it’s been bought for a gigantic amount of money. But you can get always this copy which is way more economical. 

 

 

Featured Image Via Mental Foss

Alcoholics Anonymous Logo

Alcoholics Anonymous’ Big Book Collection up for Auction

In the City of Angels, there’s going to be a book auction—and you’re going to be paying attention.

 

The books

Image Via AP News

 

Got some serious cash on your hands? You could pay off your student loans… or you could buy nineteen first-edition copies of an integral work for a nationwide organization. Nineteen copies of the founding document of Alcoholics Anonymous, known as the “Big Book,” will be auctioned off this July 19th in Los Angeles.

 

Alcoholics Anonymous

Image Via Vox

Let’s review some history: The Big Book is actually titled Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism, but the work got its nickname due to the thickness of the paper used in the first edition. (And also possibly due to the massive title?)

So, yes, the 19 first edition copies going up for auction will, in fact, be big books.

 

William Wilson

Image Via The Christian Century

 

Published in 1939, the book was written by William Wilson, who details how to recover from alcoholism in in only twelve steps. You might have heard of this ‘twelve-step method’ (in case you haven’t, we’re grateful the rock you’ve been living under didn’t crush you), and this ‘Big Book’ is the reason for that.

With 30 million copies sold, this founding text ranks as one of the best-selling books of all time. In 2011, Time magazine placed the book on its list of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923, and the Library of Congress named it one of 88 “Books that Shaped America”.

 

 

Between 1923 and the present day, Ken Roberts collected all of these Big Books! We saw a glimpse of his collection last year when AP News shared the story of “the original working manuscript for the Big Book” that “sold for $2.4 million to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.”

Still, it was a huge surprise when this announcement was made over Instagram:

 

 

The books are signed by all twelve founding members of AA, and Fox 8 Cleveland reports that “the auction house Profiles in History said Tuesday that the collection will be part of a single lot that includes a 1940 stock certificate used at the time to raise funds to continue printing the Big Book.”

Reportedly, this first-edition collection is estimated to sell for “up to $500,000 when it hits the block July 11.”

Anyone going to be in LA around then? And anyone have any extra cash lying around the house? Asking for a friend.

 

 

Featured Image Via True Recovery.

Lady Chatterly's Lover up for Auction

Export Ban on Judge’s Copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover

In October 2018, a copy of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover went up for auction and went for £56,000, more than the expected £15,000. The only issue is that this book belonged to a judge, Sir Laurence Byrne.

Lawrence wrote the book just before his death, and it was only published in Italy and France in 1920. the book was seen to be too scandalous to publish in the U.K. That changed in 1960 when Penguin Books decided to go ahead with the publication. The publishing house was then put on trial for obscenity.

 

D.H. Lawrence author of Lady Chatterly's Lover

image via the new york times

Now, a copy of the book has been banned from leaving the U.K. 

The paperback contains the original markings by judge Sir Laurence Byrne’s wife Lady Dorothy, highlight sexually explicit content. Lady Dorothy also kept running notes, keeping track of passages and page numbers, where she had added her own comments.

The publisher was eventually found not guilty, which made the trial that much more sensational. The case served as a test of the previously passed 1959 Obscene Publications Act, beginning the divide between the old establishment and a new era.

The book was purchased at auction for £56,250 last year, but the buyer wants to take it abroad. According to the BBC, “those who want to export items of cultural significant from the UK must apply for a licence.” The temporary block on the book’s export means that anyone interested in purchasing the book has until August 9th to make this known, and an additional three months in which to secure the cost.

Featured Image Via Justcollecting News