Monday, 18 Jan 2021

Harry Potter book about to be sold for 50p turned out to be worth £50,000

A Harry Potter book set to be sold for 50p at a car boot sale is now expected to fetch £50,000 at auction after it turned out to be a rare first edition.

Charlotte Rumsey, 28, was helping her mum Karen, 59, have a clear-out of her home in Blackpool when she came across the hardback copy of the Philosopher’s Stone.

She said: ‘I put it in the 50p book box without a second thought, but soon after I just happened to see the Antiques Roadshow on TV.

‘Someone had taken along some rare Harry Potter books and the experts said they could be worth £13,000. I thought maybe we had a first edition and rang mum to ask her to double check our book.

‘She took it out of the box and I began reading out the issue points that identify it as first edition. As she turned the pages to check each one, everything seemed to be exactly the same.’

The family contacted Hansons Auctioneers’ expert Jim Spencer, who confirmed he book was one of only 500 printed during publisher Bloomsbury’s first run in 1997.

Charlotte, a solicitor from Preston, added: ‘We’re so excited.

‘Mum moved to Blackpool in 2003 and can’t believe she has had such a valuable book sitting on her bookshelf all that time.’

Charlotte said a family friend had given them the book in 1999 for her brothers Callum, now 27, and Cameron, now 25, to read.

She went on: ‘We’ve all flown the nest now and I’m due to get married in 2022. My fiancé, Kyle Gillies, a teacher, is a huge Harry Potter fan.

‘We actually offered him the book before we put it in the car boot box but he said no as he had plenty.’

Another rare first edition of the book which was unearthed in Luxembourg fetched £60,000 at auction in October.

Books expert Mr Spencer said: ‘I’m delighted for the family.

‘Charlotte said she was hopping about, and the hairs stood up on her arms, when she received my call confirming it was a first issue.’

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