The rare first edition of the first Harry Potter book will be auctioned for £30,000

An extremely rare first edition of Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone, JK Rowling’s first-ever book about her wizarding world, will be auctioned for £30,000.

The coveted book is one of the most wanted items in the world, as only 500 books were printed in the first print run, 300 of which were sent to schools and children’s libraries.

The first edition is being sold by a private owner who has owned the book since its purchase in 1997. It will be sold by Chiswick Auctions on January 27.

According to online book marketplace AbeBooks, which specializes in rare books, early hardcover editions of the first Harry Potter book feature a line of print that reads 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 and the credit of “Joanne Rowling” instead of JK.

The auction house is also selling a collection of children’s books, including a signed copy of the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and a signed copy of Newt Scamander: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which should fetch around £700.

The library of American novelist Paul Gallico is also part of the auction. The writer is known for inspiring JK Rowling’s fictional creatures, Boggarts, and helped make James Bond an international hit through his friendship with Ian Fleming.

Gallico’s 1968 book Manxmouse contained creatures called Clutterbumphs that transform into what the viewer fears most, much like Boggarts.

The author’s role in the success of James Bond began when he was one of the first to read a rough typescript of Casino Royale while Fleming worked as a journalist.

His comments to Fleming were that the book “is a knockout blow” and led Gallico to help promote the Bond author to an American audience.

Fleming presented Gallico, who died in 1976, with signed first editions of his early novels. One of the first two autographed editions that will go under the hammer is Casino Royale, signed “A Paul de Balzache 1953”, which refers to a literary farce based on “sickness in the balls”.

The second novel is Diamonds are forever, in which Fleming writes: “To Paul, who spread his wings on my firstborn, 1956”.

In total, a complete set of eight Bond novels in their first editions, all signed by Fleming to Gallico, are set to fetch £60,000.

The Gallico library is being put up for sale by the late author’s 97-year-old wife. His estate in Antibes, France, where he died, had not been touched for nearly five decades.

Other items from the Gallico library that will go on sale are notes by Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford and the Walt Disney Company. The folio has an estimate of £800 to £1,200.

Clive Moss, Head of Rare Books at Chiswick Auctions, said: “The collection is a tangible reminder of a writer whose presence and works continue to live on. [entertain and inspire] us so many years after his death.

“It’s a fabulous opportunity to be part of the continuing story that was, and is, Paul Gallico – a supreme writer and a talent with an enduring quality that never fails to grab and capture our attention.”

Additional reports by SWNS