AN ultra-rare first edition copy of a Harry Potter novel which was uncovered at a charity shop has sold at auction in Colchester for £6,200.

The first edition, first printing copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone sold to an American bidder almost 25 years to the day from the first publication and birth of author JK Rowling’s smash hit series.

The rare paperback – one of just approximately 5,000 – was discovered by a teacher in the Colchester area.

The first book in the wildly successful series, first published in 1997, was the calm before the storm.

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

The teacher was scouring charity shops earlier this year, on the hunt for copies of the book for use in her classroom.


Daniel Wright, an auctioneer with Colchester-based Reeman Dansie, said the teacher’s eagle-eyed son was the one to spot the novel’s true worth.

Mr Wright was able to confirm the significance of their find.

The lot was sold in Reeman Dansie’s Fine Art auction on Wednesday, June 29, amidst fierce bidding.


Mr Wright previously told the Gazette: “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.”

Remarkably, the book wasn’t the only ultra-rare piece of Harry Potter history up for auction that day.

A Gryffindor House cloak, an “almost unheard of” original prop from the film franchise sold for £5,000.


The prop, from the 2005 smash hit film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 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 stated: “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.