Rare Harry Potter first edition sells for £43,750 at auction

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A first edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone has sold at auction for £43,750, after some "intense bidding".

The sale exceeded expectations as the copy, described as being in "excellent condition", had an estimated sale price of £15,000-£20,000.

It was purchased by a London-based businessman at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale in the capital.

JK Rowling
JK Rowling (Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images)

The Philosopher's Stone is the first in the series of JK Rowling's novels about the boy wizard, the best-selling collection that has since been turned into a one of Hollywood's most successful film franchises.

Part of the first edition's appeal was down to a rare printing mistake on the back cover, in which the second "o" was missing from the word "Philosopher's".

The extract reads: "Acclaim for Harry Potter And The Philospher's Stone".

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (Oliver Williams/PA Images)

Another defining factor in that particular copy's value was the numbering of 10 down to 1 on the back of the title page, otherwise known as the verso.

Simon Roberts, Bonhams Books and Manuscripts senior specialist, said: "This was an exceptional price for a much-loved modern classic.

"The book was in excellent condition which added to its appeal for collectors and I am not surprised that it attracted so much interest and such intense bidding."

Harry Potter
Cast of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone with JK Rowling in 2001 (William Conran/PA Archive/PA Images)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published on June 30 1997 by Bloomsbury and became an instant best-seller, including in the US where it was renamed Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone.

More than 400 million copies of the Harry Potter series have been sold worldwide.