Harry Potter: Proof copy found in Oxford school fetches £13k

5 months ago 99

Jim Spencer from HansonsImage source, Hansons Auctioneers

Image caption,

Jim Spencer from Hansons said the auction "could surprise us all"

By Jaysim Hanspal

BBC South

An original proof of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone that was rediscovered at a primary school could be worth thousands of pounds.

The book was found during the summer at St Kenelm's Primary School in Minster Lovell, Witney, Oxfordshire. It was bought for £1 in 1997.

It is expected to fetch between £15,000-£20,000 at Hansons Auctioneers.

Former head teacher Bob Alder, 75, said "there is a huge buzz of excitement" at the school.

He said he came across the book, which was kept safely before going missing in 2015, whilst tidying out a school cupboard during the summer holidays.

"I thought this is probably going to have to some value to it. I thought in terms for a few hundred, and then a few thousand but to find out it might go for £20,000 is fantastic," he said.

The school has decided to sell the book to help students "further develop their own love of literature" through new books and updated equipment.

Image source, Hansons Auctioneers

Image caption,

The school removed the book from its library when Harry Potter first became popular

Jim Spencer, head of books at Hansons Auctioneers said: "The plain cover evidently didn't inspire many, if any, takers, and so it has survived remarkably well.

"As soon as Harry Potter mania developed, the school wisely removed it from the borrowing shelves."

The uncorrected proof copy is one of only 200 printed by Bloomsbury in 1997.

The book has a plain yellow and white cover, and lists the author as "J. A Rowling" on the title page.

Mr Spencer said: "This book is where it all began. This is the very first appearance in print of the first Harry Potter novel.

"The author's signing tours, the midnight queues outside bookshops, the movies, the merchandise - it all stems from this."

The book will be auctioned alongside a proposed illustrated cover of the first Harry Potter book and a 15th anniversary competition prize edition of the book, signed and dedicated by Rowling.

Meanwhile at the school "there is high excitement among staff who want it live streamed - I will tuning in at that point and biting my nails," Mr Adler added.

Follow BBC South on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to south.newsonline@bbc.co.uk.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Read Entire Article