Merlin's beard! Harry Potter first edition sells for £68k

Image caption,
The first editions initially sold for £10.99 when printed in 1997

A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has fetched a magical £68,000 at auction.

The issue was among 500 hardback copies printed in 1997, before JK Rowling's fantasy saga soared to global success.

Another first edition, which nearly sold for 50p in a car boot sale, drew £50,000 in an online auction at Hansons Auctioneers in Staffordshire on Friday.

A library copy featuring date stamps sold for £19,000, while a fourth sold for £17,500.

'Hopping about'

The issues were among the first 500 hardback copies printed, of which 300 were sent to schools and libraries. At the time those copies were selling for £10.99.

Charlotte Rumsey initially put a copy found in her mother's box of unwanted things in a 50p box for a car boot sale in July.

But after watching Antiques Roadshow, she asked her mother, from Blackpool, to check the copy with Hansons Auctioneers.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe appeared in the films between 2001 and 2011

On finding out the book was a first edition, a "delighted" Ms Rumsey said she "couldn't stop hopping about".

The copy was one of the rarer 200 that went to shops and sold for £50,000.

The bride-to-be has previously said she plans to split the money between her wedding and her mother's new home.

Image source, Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption,
One auctioned copy was stocked in a library in JK Rowling's adopted home of Edinburgh

In October, another first edition sold for a hammer price of £60,000.

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