Daughters discover Harry Potter book bought for £1 is worth £30,000

That’s magic! Daughters are shocked to discover a Harry Potter book their late mother bought for £1 from a school fete is a rare first edition worth £30,000

  • Four daughters discovered that their Harry Potter book was a rare first edition
  • Their mother, who died aged 44 in 2005, bought the copy for £1 at a school fete
  • The version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is one of 500 copies
  • It is expected to fetch between £20,000 and £30,000 at Hansons Auctioneers 
  • One daughter, from Staffordshire, said it was a ‘lovely legacy’ for their mother  

Four daughters were left gobsmacked after discovering a Harry Potter book bought by their late mother for £1 at a school fete is a rare first edition worth £30,000.

The sisters, from Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, discovered that their mum, who died of breast cancer aged 44 in 2005, unknowingly left them an inheritance gift in a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Their mother, a former primary school teacher, bought the first Harry Potter book around 20 years ago for £1 from a Leicestershire school fete as she was passionate about encouraging her children to read and filled the house with books.

But she had no idea that the edition she picked up would be worth tens of thousands of pounds as it turned out to be one of only 500 copies ever printed.

Four daughters were left gobsmacked after discovering a Harry Potter book (pictured) bought by their late mother for £1 at a school fete is a rare first edition worth £30,000

It will go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in Staffordshire where it is expected to fetch between £20,000-£30,000, but could make much more. 

The woman’s eldest daughter, 31, who does not wish to be named, said the book had been lying on a shelf since their mother died 16 years ago.  

The daughter, who works for Staffordshire County Council, said: ‘The book, which has been gathering dust on a shelf for years, is a Harry Potter first edition.

‘We were really shocked to find out it’s worth £20,000-£30,000. I couldn’t believe it when Hansons Auctioneers confirmed it was genuine and told me the estimate. It was like one of those moments on The Antiques Road Show.’

She added that the money made from selling the ‘heaven sent’ gift will be split between the four daughters as part of their ‘lovely mum’s legacy’.

The mother, from Burton-upon-Trent, who died of breast cancer aged 44 in 2005, unknowingly left them an inheritance gift in a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (above)

The book (pictured) is a rare copy of just 500 that were printed in 1997 and it is expected to fetch between £20,000-£30,000 at auction, but could make much more

She continued: ‘When mum bought the book all those years ago, I would imagine for no more than £1, she would have had no idea it would end up being so valuable.’  

The hardback copy is from the first print run back in 1997 and is described as being the ‘ultimate Potter collector’s item’.

Other copies have sold for hammer prices ranging from £17,500 to an impressive £68,000, depending on the condition.

The daughter said her mother always made her and her siblings look after the books, meaning the copy is in ‘pretty good’ condition even though all four daughters read it.

She explained: ‘Mum has left us a fantastic gift thanks to her passion for books and her determination to encourage us to read. She loved books.

‘There was always one by her bedside. I remember a study in our home being filled floor to ceiling with books.

‘She made us look after them too. We always had to put them away. Consequently, it’s in pretty good condition even though we all read it. She was a teacher through and through and a wonderful mum.’

The mother, a former primary school teacher, bought the rare Harry Potter book 20 years ago for just £1 from a Leicestershire school fete (above, page showing word wand printed twice)

The woman said her father had seen news stories about Harry Potter first editions selling for large amounts of money, so they decided to check if their book was one of the sought after copies – and it was.

She continued: ‘The book was on a shelf at my dad’s house in South Derbyshire. Dad had seen a couple of news stories about Potter first editions selling for a lot of money and started Googling and printing off the information to show me.

‘Our book seemed to have all the key first edition issue points. Most importantly, the number on the copyright page must read 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, and ours did.

‘Dad gave me the book and said, “I think it’s time for you to have this, the book might be valuable”. Mum was always buying things at fetes, fairs and car boot sales.

‘She bought the book at a fete at Ravenstone County Primary School, near Coalville, in Leicestershire, we think just before it closed in 2003. They must have been having a clear out.’

She explained that the money from the book will be divided between herself and her three siblings and they hope the copy can be given to someone who will ‘appreciate it’.

Charles Hanson (pictured), owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said he is looking forward to some ‘magical memories’ at the auction, for which the date is to be confirmed

She added: ‘It’s been on a book shelf ever since. No one will read it again and it’s gathering dust, so we decided it’s time to sell it to someone who will appreciate it.

‘It’s a lovely legacy for mum. The money will be split between four sisters and will be much appreciated, especially by my youngest sister who is only 21.’

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: ‘A mother’s love lasts forever and this unexpected gift for her daughters seems heaven sent.

‘The sale of this book is a delightful way to remember a Derbyshire teacher who did everything she could to help her daughters and whose time was cut short far too soon. I’m looking forward to making some magical memories at auction.’

The Harry Potter book is set to be sold in Hansons’ Hogwarts Auction at Bishton Hall, Staffordshire, at a date yet to be confirmed.

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