A TEACHER scouring charity shops for a Harry Potter novel unwittingly uncovered an ultra-rare first edition copy of a JK Rowling’s bestseller – which is set to go under the hammer in Colchester with a guide price of around £5,000.

Only 5,000 copies of the first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were ever printed.

The first book in the wildly successful series, penned by JK Rowling and first published in 1997, was the calm before the storm.

More than 500 million Harry Potter books have now been sold worldwide.

When the ultra-rare book fell into a Colchester teacher’s hands, she didn’t appreciate the true value of the item.


Auctioneer Daniel Wright explains: “She was scouring charity shops to look for copies of the book, as it was one she was using for teaching one of her classes.

“It was on a bookshelf, her son happened to look through them and said ‘do you know this is a first edition?'

“It was likely found in a charity shop in the Colchester area.

“They got in touch with us, as even when you’ve got the book in front of you, you don’t necessarily know all the various signs to look for."


Mr Wright added: “This particular copy is a paperback, a hardback copy would sell at about £100,000 – they are the Holy Grail.

“There were only 500 produced, with the paperback there were only 5,000.”

The rare book isn’t the only astonishing piece of Harry Potter history up for auction.

Gazette: Auctioneer Daniel WrightAuctioneer Daniel Wright

A Gryffindor cloak, an original prop from the 2005 smash hit film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is set to go under the hammer.

The cloak, which has a guide price of £6,000, was given to youngster Alba Diaferia, aged seven, during a trip to the film’s set. 


Arranged by the Make A Wish foundation, the visit saw Alba watching the filming in the trophy room of Hogwarts.

The listing for this lot states: “Cloaks from the Harry Potter films are almost never seen at auction.”

It was worn by Alba – who lost her fight against leukaemia aged eight – just once, when she donned the cloak to attend World Book Day at her school.

The items will be auctioned off on Wednesday at 10am. For more information on bidding, visit reemandansie.com.