A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone containing personal annotations and illustrations by author J.K. Rowling’s fetched £150,000 at a charity auction held at Sotheby’s in London last night.
The 1997 book not only had a revealing commentary in the
author's hand but also 22 of her own original illustrations.
The hushed saleroom saw two determined bidders vie for the lot
and, after the bidding was raised in increments of £25,000, the
hammer finally to a telephone bidder.
Although the auctioneers claimed a new auction record for a
printed book by Rowling, charity sales are not normally classified
as indicative of the market.
In all, the 50 books offered to raise money for English PEN (the
writers' charity which campaigns for freedom of expression) raised
a total of £439,200.
The second-highest price lot was a copy of Matilda by
Roald Dahl with new illustrations by Quentin Blake, which sold for
The sale was attended by a number of authors whose works were
featured in the sale, including Helen Fielding, Colm Toibin,
Jeanette Winterson, Frederick Forsyth, Ben Okri, Margaret Drabble,
Andrea Levy, David Lodge, John Banville, Justin Cartwright and