'Harry Potter' first edition sells for smashing $471,000

2 minute read

A first edition copy of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" that sold for $471,000 at auction in the United States is seen in an undated handout photo. Heritage Auctions/Handout via Reuters

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

LOS ANGELES, Dec 9 (Reuters) - A first edition of "Harry Potter" sold for $471,000 in the United States on Thursday in what the auctioneers said was a world record price for a 2Oth century work of fiction.

The hardback 1997 British edition of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," with a color illustration on the cover, was described by Heritage Auctions as "magical, incredibly bright and so very near pristine."

The book was published in the United States as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

The Dallas-based auction house said only 500 copies with the specific binding were printed. The final price was more than six times the pre-sale estimate of $70,000.

Previous auction prices for Harry Potter first editions have ranged from about $110,000 to $138,000.

"Not only is it the most expensive Harry Potter book ever sold, it’s the most expensive commercially published 20th-century work of fiction ever sold," Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Joe Maddalena said in a statement.

The book was sold by an American collector and the name of the buyer was not released.

British author J.K. Rowling went on to write six more books about the adventures of the orphaned boy wizard that have sold some 500 million copies worldwide in 80 languages, according to U.S. publisher Scholastic. The books were turned into eight films which made $7.8 billion at the global box office.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.