The buyer was clearly eager to own the piece of literary history, but chose to remain anonymous.
A rare first edition of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was auctioned off this Tuesday for the staggering price of 150 GBP, Reuters reports. According to auctioneer Sotheby’s the book is part of the smallest printed batch in the series – the first printing of "Philosopher’s Stone" was limited to just 500 books. However, this isn’t the only thing that makes the book special.
This particular copy was annotated by Rowling herself with notes, second thoughts and original drawings, revealing more of the author’s vision of the story. The bidding was intense and highly contested, but in the end it was an anonymous patron, bidding over the phone, who was willing to shell out the most to own a piece of the magic - 150 000 pounds ($227,421).
While it was the best seller, the book about the boy wizard wasn’t the only piece up for sale. The full collection, entitled “First Editions, Second Thoughts” featured 51 first editions in total. Other top sellers included Roald Dahl's "Matilda" with new illustrations by Quentin Blake for 30,000 pounds ($45,470), Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day" for 18,000 pounds ($27,278) and Julian Barnes' "Metroland" for 14,000 ($21,216). The sale will benefit the charity English PEN, which promotes freedom of expression. In the end, the complete collection went for 439,000 pounds or $665,410.
The book was illustrated and annotated by the author herself.