A Harry Potter Book Signed By JK Rowling Just Sold For A Crazy Amount
That buys a lot of butter beer!
Harry Potter is one of the most popular franchises of all time and never is this more evident than when a rare Potter-related item sells for a ludicrous amount of money. The most recent example is a complete first edition book set of the Harry Potter series signed by author JK Rowling selling for somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 GBP, or around $118,758-$178,138. That’s definitely an insane amount of money to pay for a book set, but somebody was willing to pay it.
The book set was sold at auction at Christie’s with the final sale price currently undisclosed. The set includes a rare first impression of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that includes a ‘wand’ error on p. 53, a number sequence 10 to 1 on the imprint page, and the misspelling of ‘Philosopher’s’ on the lower board. Only 500 impressions of this rare Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone were produced. The second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets includes a personalized message from Rowling, which reads “To Tessa MacGregor, with best wishes.” The seller of the book set pledged to donate a portion of the sale to Rowling’s Lumos Foundation, which has the mission of reuniting children in institutions with their families.
This is far from the first time that a piece of Harry Potter memorabilia was sold for an inordinate amount of money. The most extreme example was when a copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, handwritten and illustrated by Rowling, sold for $483,906 at a Sotheby’s auction in 2016. While Rowling herself has drawn controversy in recent years due to her comments about the trans community, it appears that the demand for Harry Potter-related rarities is still there.
Harry Potter as a franchise is still going strong. In 2022, HBO Max released a reunion special titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. It featured Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson reuniting to talk about their time in the film franchise and reminisce over the making of the movies. Various other members of the cast and crew made appearances in the special as well. Rowling herself was largely excluded from the special.
Outside of the mainline Harry Potter series, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise debuted its most recent entry to the film series in 2022. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore made history for all of the wrong reasons, becoming the biggest box office miss of the Harry Potter franchise. While there were more sequels planned for the Fantastic Beasts franchise, they might be nixed after this disappointing box office performance. While the reviews for the movie weren’t great, other factors that could have affected the box officer numbers were JK Rowling’s social media comments and her involvement in the franchise, the firing and replacement of Johnny Depp, the controversies surrounding star Ezra Miller, and the fact that the movie was released in a world still dealing with a pandemic. The third Fantastic Beasts movie has managed to limp over the $400 million mark, but maybe they’d be better off just auctioning off old books for now.