Unseen Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone galley sheets up for auction

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Unseen Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone galley sheets up for auction (Chiswick Auction/PA)
Unseen Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone galley sheets up for auction (Chiswick Auction/PA)

The only known surviving set of galley sheets for JK Rowling’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone is expected to sell for up to £30,000 at auction.

The never-before-seen uncorrected sheets are a version of the book that was sent before final proofreading and consists of 224 numbered pages on 109 sheets.

The copy was sent from Rosamund Walker, the marketing manager of Bloomsbury Children’s Books, to Fiona Waters, the children’s book reviewer, in February 1997.

Galley proofs for JK Rowling’s Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (Chiswick Auctions/PA)
Galley proofs for JK Rowling’s Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (Chiswick Auctions/PA)

In an accompanying letter, Walker wrote: “Dear Fiona, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by Joanne Rowling.

“I have enclosed a manuscript for your interest as promised… I would really appreciate if you would let me know your comments for pre-publication quotes.”

A month later, Waters replied: “I just loved this book. There is something about Harry Potter that reminds me of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Waters’ quote was used as a review on the back of the first edition of the book that was printed.

Complete set of first edition Harry Potter titles (Chiswick Auctions/PA)
Complete set of first edition Harry Potter titles (Chiswick Auctions/PA)

Clive Moss, head of Chiswick Auctions books, manuscript and works on paper, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer such a fascinating insight into what was to become an iconic work in the history of literature.

“This copy is not mentioned in the definitive bibliography by Philip W Errington, which records all of the activity of the works of JK Rowling.

“Therefore, these are the only known surviving set of galley sheets that have been seen, or offered for sale on the open market.”

The Fine Books and Works on Paper sale on April 28 will also feature a set of first editions of all seven UK Harry Potter books, signed by Rowling’s assistant Fiddy Henderson – and is estimated to sell for up to £28,000.

Harry Potter complete set of first editions (Chiswick Auctions/PA)
Harry Potter complete set of first editions (Chiswick Auctions/PA)

Similarly, a complete set of first edition James Bond novels by Ian Fleming is expected to fetch up to £60,000 at auction.

Moss added: “This sale is a fantastic opportunity to attain some of the most iconic works in first edition.

“These rare works celebrate literature and demonstrate the current strength of the market for first editions, as well as literary works, in good condition and with excellent provenance.”

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