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Booking up ‘Near perfect’ first edition Harry Potter book set to auction for €120k

The seller purchased the book for €15.60 in 1997

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A near-perfect copy of the first edition hardback of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (Jacob King/PA)

A near-perfect copy of the first edition hardback of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (Jacob King/PA)

A near-perfect copy of the first edition hardback of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (Jacob King/PA)

A  "near-perfect" first edition copy of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone could fetch €120k at auction.

The hard-back copy of the novel was kept unopened, unread and in a protective sleeve since 1997.

It is set to be auctioned on Wednesday during an online sale by Hansons' Auctioneers in the UK.

The book was one of the only 500 books printed in the first Harry Potter book print run in 1997.

The anonymous seller of the book said that when he bought the book for €15.60 in 1997 he almost asked for his money back because it didn’t have a dust cover on it.

"It didn’t have a dust jacket and I thought it should,” he said.

"I was really disappointed when I went to pick it up. I’m a collector and, being a first edition, I expected it to have one.”

"I decided to keep the book on the toss of a coin. It was a moment of destiny,” he said.

However, years later the 68-year-old from West Sussex discovered that the first edition of hardbacks never came with a dust cover.

"It’s in the best condition it possibly can be – almost perfect I would say. It’s never been read.”

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The first editions have a unique error, repeating ‘1 wand’ in the wizard’s equipment list (Jacob King/PA)

The first editions have a unique error, repeating ‘1 wand’ in the wizard’s equipment list (Jacob King/PA)

The first editions have a unique error, repeating ‘1 wand’ in the wizard’s equipment list (Jacob King/PA)

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"A year after I bought it, with Harry Potter excitement growing at my daughter’s school, she asked if she could read it. I said no, absolutely not."

The seller, who is also auctioning his mint condition copy of Chamber Of Secrets, said he decided to sell the books to pay off the remainder of his mortgage.

A book expert for the auctioneer, Hansons, who has sourced and sold 14 hardback issues of Philosopher’s Stone, said: "My only fear was that it was too good to be true.”

"I inspected the book closely, again and again, comparing it with two other first issues of the same work, studying the covers and text with a magnifying glass,” he said.

"Everything added up perfectly. I couldn’t believe it. It was like stepping back in time to 1997."

Charles Hanson, Hansons’ owner, said: "It would be amazing to beat the price achieved in America with this near-perfect, as-good-as-new Potter first edition.”

"Our guide price is £40,000-£60,000, (€48,000 - €72,000).”

"I’d like to think our copy could achieve £100,000 or, better still, smash the world record."

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