Tatty Harry Potter book without spine and yellow pages sells for £20k - could your old copy be worth the same?
The Harry Potter book had no spine and yellow pages as it went up for auction - but it still managed to fetch a magical £20,000.
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A mum is splashing out on a magical cruise for her family after selling off a tatty Harry Potter book for a whopping £20,000. Holly Hodgart was delighted to receive such a high sum after putting a first-edition copy of the Philosopher’s Stone up for auction.
The 34-year-old was worried the paperback might not even survive the trip to the selling house due to its poor condition. But it was snapped up by a buyer for £20,160, including the buyer’s premium.
And Holly now plans to use her share of the money to take her two children away on holiday. The stay-at-home mum, from Glasgow, said: "I always knew that my book was different. I think it added something that was well-loved.
“I lent it to one girl at school in 2000, it went around the whole boarding house, and came back to me in bad condition. When it was auctioned, it had no spine, the protective plastic was peeled off and the pages were yellowed.
“When it eventually reached [the sale price], I was completely shocked because I thought, ‘Who is going to want this thing’.”
Holly had previously tried to have the book valued by auctioneers but had always found it difficult. But in September 2022, she reached out to Lyon & Turnbull after seeing they had previously sold first-edition Harry Potter books.
When the auction house confirmed they would be cataloguing the rare book, Holly shared the exciting news on social media. An old friend then reached out to her to say she had sold a first-edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for thousands.
The first-edition book was identified by its ISBN number and a printing error which shows the words ‘1 wand’ printed twice in Harry’s list of Hogwarts equipment. Holly is now looking forward to taking her family on a Disney cruise around Europe, as well as using the money to help out with essentials.
She said: “My mum used that book to bribe me to go to boarding school. She said, “If Harry can do it, so can you’. I had a trunk and all, she really tried to sell it to me.
“I was in my late teens when I realised it was quite an important book. For many years I kept thinking I would sell the book and would periodically get in touch with auction houses.
"Then I would have to send all these photos to prove it was first edition and it never led anywhere. Last year I thought I’ve got a four-and-a-half-year-old and two-year-old. I’ve got to get it out the house before it gets damaged, it’s not doing anything on a bookshelf.
“I got in touch with Lyon & Turnbull and ended up dropping it off at their office at the end of last year. It was quite emotional, I was worried it wouldn’t survive the train journey to the city centre.
“I watched the auction live at home with my youngest – as the auction was coming to an end, she ran through in a witch’s hat which was a bit spooky. The buyer ended up paying £20k including fees and we got just under £15k after paying our fees.
“It went to an American buyer and I joked it wasn’t going to survive the flight. We got the money just a few weeks ago- my cousins originally bought the book for me so I bought them a thank you hamper for buying me a very ordinary book that became extraordinary.
“If you think you have a first-edition book, look at the ISPN number. Hardcovers seem to sell more and have a quick Google search as well. Just get in touch with an auction house, what’s the worst that can happen.”