Waterlooville's own Harry Potter sells rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for almost £30,000
WHEN the hugely popular Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published in 1997 it caused no end of trouble for one Waterlooville boy.
Sharing his name with the book’s hero, Harry Potter – who is now 33, was endlessly told he was ‘taking the mick’ and was even given a red card by a referee during a football game once as a result.
Now Harry’s luck has turned after selling a rare first edition hardback copy, jointly owned with his sister Katie, for tens of thousands of pounds.
The copy in question was given to them by the late father, David James Potter. And despite being in well-thumbed condition, it sold to a private UK buyer for a hammer price of £22,000 at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire today (October 14). With buyer’s premium, the total paid was £27,500.
Harry said: ‘I’m happy it sold. We plan to use the proceeds to take my dad’s ashes to Kenya.’
The national sales manager, was eight when the first Potter book came out. Thanks to Pottermania, he’s spent the last 25 years trying to convince people his name really is Harry Potter.
‘People just don’t believe me,’ said the dad-of-three.
‘When I was a young footballer, a referee threatened me with a red card for saying my name was Harry Potter. When I met my wife, Philippa, on holiday in Greece, she didn’t believe me either. People think it’s a wind-up. I’ve had the mick taken out of me over the years but you get used to it.
‘When you ring someone up and they ask your name they usually dissolve into laughter or say “you’re joking”.’
Proceeds from the sale of the book are being shared with his sister Katie Sign, 36, an accountant and mum, also from Waterlooville.
She said: ‘I remember dad bursting through the front door after work brandishing a book, proclaiming: “You’ll never believe what I’ve got”.
‘At first glance we were confused. Had someone written a book for Harry? Our Harry Potter? Dad explained that he’d heard Terry Wogan mention Harry Potter on Radio 2 and, once he had gathered Terry was referring to an award-winning children’s’ book – not his then eight-year-old son – he turned his van round, drove straight to Bay Tree Bookshop in Waterlooville and bought us a copy.’
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Their dad died at the age of 71 after a long battle with cancer in October 2017.
She added: ‘Over time we realised the book had changed for us. We knew rare first editions were selling for tens of thousands of pounds. It wasn’t any longer something we could enjoy, or love, without fear of damaging it. We aren’t investors or collectors, we’re two grown-up kids who would like to enjoy life the way our dad prescribed – to its fullest. The book is the legacy dad left us to do that.
‘With the proceeds from the sale, we plan to take dad’s ashes to Africa, the place he asked to finally rest.’