Rare first edition Harry Potter book bought for 30p could land £5K at auction | Books | Entertainment

This much-loved copy was discovered after a Wolverhampton library decided it was no longer fit for circulation. Specialists have identified it as one of just 500 released by Bloomsbury in 1997, with only 300 of those reaching libraries around the UK.

The astute purchaser, whose identity has not been revealed, spotted its value when the library opted to sell it. After acquiring it, the individual stored the book at home, thinking it was lost as his collection expanded.

Sadly, the collector passed away this year at 55, and his family unearthed the book while sorting through his belongings.

Estimations place the value of the book between £3,000 and £5,000, but it’s predicted to stir up a bidding frenzy at the upcoming Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Antiques event on July 10.

Richard Winterton, auctioneer, said: “What an amazing find. Withdrawn and discarded from the library, bought for 30p and now worth thousands of pounds.”

Despite its well-read condition, which Mr Winterton found fitting for a book that “helped fuel the early popularity of Potter”, it still has its library identification and the 30p selling price mark.

The auctioneer said: “We have placed an estimate of £3,000 to £5,000 on the book because of its much-loved condition but other examples have fetched much more than this at auction.”

The book had been part of a Staffordshire man’s personal collection, reflecting his lifelong love for books and memorabilia. The collector’s sister, who chose to remain anonymous, shared her brother’s early passion for collecting, starting from his school days.

She said: “He started dealing in books and memorabilia when he was still at school.

“He would go to jumble sales and church fairs and would come back with a pile of annuals or comics.

“He would then take them to a second-hand shop in Hednesford to sell or take them in to school to swap with friends. That was his passion from an early age onwards.”

The family was aware of the Harry Potter book’s existence, but had assumed it was lost.

His sister said: “When he moved house four years ago he literally put everything into hundreds of boxes, many of which went into containers.

“We knew that he had got the book but if you asked him to pinpoint it he couldn’t.

“So for the last four years this book has been ‘lost’ and I think we had come to the conclusion that it had disappeared into the ether somewhere.

“Now it’s come to light again we, as a family, are quite excited.”

The book is set to be auctioned at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Staffordshire, on July 10.

This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up Express.co.uk’s editorial research. A content editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to readercomplaints@reachplc.com

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