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First edition Harry Potter books fetch £11,000

Book specialist Cathy Marsden looks over a complete set of first edition Harry Potter books. Picture: Hemedia

Book specialist Cathy Marsden looks over a complete set of first edition Harry Potter books. Picture: Hemedia

A RARE complete set of first edition Harry Potter books cast a spell over collectors today as they fetched more than £11,000 at auction in Edinburgh.

The set included all seven of JK Rowling’s iconic adventures featuring the boy wizard.

The books, which were in a private Scottish collection, included one of only 500 first run copies of the original tale, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It included a card signed by the author.

The set went under the hammer at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh, the city where Rowling wrote them, where they were expected to make £9,000-12,000.

Bidding for the books started at £6,500 before the winning bid of £11,250.

Simon Vickers, Lyon & Turnbull’s book specialist, said it was “a wonderful complete set”, but the real value lay in the first book, an extremely rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

He added: “There was a lot of interest in these books, and we knew they would do well.

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the star attraction, however. Only 500 copies were published at first, of which 300 went to libraries and were rebound, and effectively lost.

“The book became a classic, and the series a global publishing phenomenon.

“Later books were printed in their millions. Indeed, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the fastest selling book in history, selling millions in its first day on sale.

“There are lots of enthusiastic collectors.”

JK Rowling famously wrote most of the debut Potter book, along with the rest of the series, in cafes in Edinburgh.

She has claimed the book “changed my life forever”.

The classic first novel, published in 1997, introduced millions of readers to Harry, the young wizard who discovers his magical heritage after his parents were killed by the evil Lord Voldemort.

The books also introduced fans to Harry’s friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the sport of Quidditch.

Experts have described the series, published over a decade, as “the most important and influential children’s books of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries”.

The seven books include Rowling’s award-winning 1997 debut Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; her 1998 follow-up Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban published in 1999; and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire published in 2000.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -- the longest of the books with 766 pages -- was followed by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; and the final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which sold 11 million copies within 24 hours of its release on 21 July 2007.

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