A woman who bought a Harry Potter book 20 years ago for £10.99 has now sold it for £3,750.
Sally Champion, who lives in Edinburgh, worked for a reading charity in London in the 1990s. Author JK Rowling read excerpts from her second Harry Potter book, The Chamber of Secrets, at an event hosted by Sally and signed a copy for it.
It has now been sold to a collector in the north of England, and Sally unexpectedly donates it to charity.
In 1998, Sally worked for the National Literacy Trust and organized an event in a bookstore for children from underprivileged communities. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets had just been published in the UK, and Rowling was there to read excerpts.
Sally said: “She was so tired because she was up late because she had just won the Smarties Book Prize the night before.
“She was just straight to work with – relaxed. She wasn’t super famous then, but the momentum was already underway in children’s books around her. ” Sally bought a first edition hardback copy of the book for £10.99 and asked the author to sign and inscribe it, which she did.
The book remained in Sally’s possession for the next two decades, and she moved home to Edinburgh, where she now lives.
It sat on the bookshelf for several years, and when Sally’s family were Harry Potter fans, they read the paperback version, leaving it in pristine condition. Then while watching a recent episode of The Antiques Roadshow, Sally remembered the book.
She explained: “A young lady was pictured with her signed Harry Potter book, and I was surprised to find it was worth some money.” Sally researched her copy and found that it was the first print run, the first edition, and the individual inscription added more value.
Adam Houston, an expert on JK Rowling signatures and a Potter fan himself, acquired the book from Sally, on behalf of another collector, for £3,750. “It’s believed there are only around 10,000 of these books printed, and only a small number of these were signed and inscribed by Jo, said Mr Houston.
“And what’s particularly special about this book is that it was signed and inscribed in the year it came out. “
Sally said she liked that the process began at an event for children from disadvantaged communities, and two and a half decades later, the proceeds will go towards helping children and young people again.