Rare treasure trove of memorabilia with Harry Potter and James Bond link for sale

The books go under the hammer in Edinburgh later this month

Rare first editions of JK Rowling’s first three Harry Potter books, a signed first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale and a complete set of signed A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the Pooh books are set to fetch tens of thousands of pounds at auction in Edinburgh.

The books will go under the hammer at Lyon & Turnbull Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs auction on Wednesday. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first in Rowling's boy wizard series, is one of only 500 first edition hardcovers printed in 1997 and is valued at between £40,000 and £60,000.

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A rare first edition Harry Potter book up for auction is expected to sell for up to £60,000. Picture: Lyon & Turnbull/PA WireA rare first edition Harry Potter book up for auction is expected to sell for up to £60,000. Picture: Lyon & Turnbull/PA Wire
A rare first edition Harry Potter book up for auction is expected to sell for up to £60,000. Picture: Lyon & Turnbull/PA Wire

A small number of copies were initially produced given the publisher’s uncertainty about whether or not the book would prove popular. The novel has gone on to sell more than 120 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books in history.

In a triple Potter whammy, the auction also includes two other books in the series, including a copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets signed by Rowling valued between £4,000 and £6,000, and an edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which could fetch up to £4,000. All the Harry Potter books being offered for sale are in excellent condition.

Cathy Marsden, head of books and manuscripts at Lyon & Turnbull, said: “A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is an exceptionally rare book to find in any condition, and one in such an excellent condition could well be called the jewel in any Harry Potter collector’s crown.”

Casino Royale, the first novel in Fleming classic James Bond spy series, is valued between £30,000 and £50,000. Fleming, who wrote the book aged 44 in 1952, met with instinct success with the novel and three print runs were commissioned to meet the demand.

The inscription inside is from the author to Ion Smeaton Munro (1883- 1970), Fleming’s night editor at Kemsley Newspapers – owner of the Sunday Times – who is a decorated army officer much in the mould of Bond himself. The inscription reads: “To I.S.M, who’s [sic] staunch keeping of the night watches freed the author for this extra-mural opus, Ian Fleming, April 1953.”

Fleming worked in British Naval Intelligence during the Second World War and, after his demobilisation in 1945, joined Kemsley Newspapers as foreign manager where he was responsible for managing the group’s networks of correspondents.

Of the four Winnie-the-Pooh books, When We Were Very Young written by A.A. Milne, during a wet holiday in Wales in 1923, is one of a hundred copies printed on handmade paper and signed by both author and illustrator. It is estimated to fetch between £7,000 and £10,000.

The entire set, with a total value of £15,000-£22,000, was acquired new by the vendor’s family and has never previously been offered for sale.

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Milne was a playwright before the immense success of his stories about a lovable teddy bear and his young owner, Christopher Robin, overshadowed his previous work.

Ms Marsden added: “It’s always exciting to handle first editions of books that have become part of public’s imagination. At the time of publishing, no one could have predicted just how much of a phenomenon the stories and characters featured would become.”

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