First edition Harry Potter book sells for at least £200,000

The first edition of the book to be auctioned

Would have been a good investment if you bought it in 1997 (Image: Reuters)

If you happen to have an old copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at home, be sure to check the release date.

It is estimated that there are around 200 hardcover first editions which could be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds each as they could be in good condition.

One is due to go under the hammer at Christie’s in London this month.

Signed by author JK Rowling, the book still contains some of the original errors before they were discovered and corrected for future editions.

For example, Philosophen is misspelled as “Philosphers” with the second “o” missing on the back.

Another error appears on page 53, where “a wand” appears twice in the list of items students should take to Hogwarts.

The auction house invites bids from £200,000 in private sales.

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It will go under the hammer as part of the Art of Literature: Loan and Selling Exhibition, with the books being on display before they go on sale to the public.

Just 500 hardcover copies of the first Harry Potter book were printed in a first edition on June 26, 1997.

Three hundred of these have been sent to libraries, which means they have probably been used fairly heavily and will therefore not be in great condition.

The others are the ones that could make a fortune.

Rowling was unknown at the time of publication, but the series about the magical world of witches and wizards became a worldwide hit.

Mark Wiltshire, a specialist in printed books and co-curator of the auction show, said: “In many ways this book is the physical manifestation of a magical memory for so many people and that is what makes it so desirable.”

Christie’s Art of Literature event is open to the public June 7-15.

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Justin Scacco

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