Incredibly rare proof of first Harry Potter novel, lost for years, goes on sale in Dallas

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Harry Potter fans have a chance to own a rare copy of the series’ first book.

An uncorrected proof of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” will go to auction in Dallas on July 25.

The book will be open for bids at Heritage Auctions’ Historical Platinum auction event.

The uncorrected proof is one of only 200 ever made, the first time Harry Potter appeared in print and British author J.K. Rowling’s debut novel. The book’s title was changed to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” when it was published in the U.S. in 1998.

The proof has many notable misprints, including the author’s name written as “J.A. Rowling” on the title page.

The book will be open for bids at Heritage Auctions’ Historical Platinum auction event. The uncorrected proof is one of only 200 ever made, the first time Harry Potter appeared in print and British author J.K. Rowling’s debut novel. The book’s title was changed to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” when it was published in the U.S. in 1998.(Handout/Matt Roppolo/Heritage Auctions/TNS)

Pre-bidding will be available starting on July 1.

A rare first edition of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” one of 500 printed, was sold for a record-breaking $471,000 in Dallas in 2021. Heritage Auctions also handled the sale of that book.

For many years, this latest proof to go to auction went undiscovered, packed away in storage in rural England.

The proof was first purchased in 1997 by St. Kenelm’s School of Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire. The school bought it at a publisher’s book sale for only $1.27, equal to £1 pound, and added it to the school library.

In 2002, the book was put in storage, where it sat until it was accidentally found last year.

The school sold the book to Oxfordshire business owner Dale Henry. He attempted to donate it to a local museum, but the item is so valuable, the museum wouldn’t take it.

Henry is planning to direct money from the sale to his community, whose tourism-based economy has suffered in recent years.

“When I first heard of the proof, I was immediately intrigued by both its unique history and its connection to the area – as well as the fact that my wife is a massive Potterhead,” Henry said in a press release announcing the auction. “I hope others are similarly compelled, and I see this auction as an opportunity to reinvest in the community during a tough time.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.