United Kingdom

Harry Potter book expected to fetch £50k at auction after owner almost sold in car boot sale for 50p

A Harry Potter first edition book which was going to be sold for 50p at a car boot sale is expected to fetch £50,000 at auction.

Karen Rumsey, 59, was clearing out her home in Blackpool with daughter Charlotte, 28, when they found the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone copy. 

It was one of 500 in 1997's first print run.

Her daughter put it in the 50p book box but decided to check its value after watching someone sell rare Potter books for thousands on the Antiques Roadshow.

A first edition Harry Potter book is expected to sell at a huge £50,000 at auction. The copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was one of 500 in first print run in 1997

It will be sold by Hansons Auctioneers on December 11.

The book had been given to them by a family friend in 1999 for Charlotte and her brothers Callum, now 27, and Cameron, now 25, to read.

Charlotte, a solicitor, from Preston, said: 'Things like this don't happen to normal families like us. Our friends are delighted for us.

'I'd been helping mum have a clear out during lockdown as she's downsizing.

Karen Rumsey, 59, (right) from Blackpool found the book when she was clearing out her home. Her daughter Charlotte, 28, (left) first put the book in a box to be sold for 50p in a car boot sale but decided to check its value

'We'd put lots of things aside for a car boot sale in Blackpool including the Harry Potter book which we'd had since 1999.

'A friend of the family gave it to us for me and my brothers to read as they thought we might enjoy it.

'I put it in the 50p book box without a second thought but, soon after, I just happened to see the Antiques Roadshow on TV.

'Someone had taken along some rare Harry Potter books and the experts said they could be worth £13,000.

'I thought maybe we might have a first edition and rang mum to ask her to double check our book.

The book had been given to them by a family friend in 1999 for Charlotte and her brothers Callum, now 27, and Cameron, now 25, to read (Pictured: Charlotte Rumsey with brothers Callum, left, and Cameron in 2000)

'She took it out of the box and I began reading out the issue points that identify it as first edition.

'As she turned the pages to check each one, everything seemed to be exactly the same.

'We still couldn't believe it so we contacted Hansons.

'Their expert Jim Spencer confirmed it was a genuine first edition. We're so excited.

'Mum moved to Blackpool in 2003 and can't believe she has had such a valuable book sitting on her bookshelf all that time.

The rare book will be sold by Hansons Auctioneers on December 11. Pictured: Hanson's Jim Spencer with the Harry Potter first edition which he confirmed was a genuine first edition

'We've all flown the nest now and I'm due to get married in 2022.

'My fiancé Kyle Gillies, a teacher, is a huge Harry Potter fan.

'We actually offered him the book before we put it in the car boot box but he said no as he had plenty.'

Another rare first edition of the book which was unearthed in Luxembourg fetched £60,000 at auction in October.

Jim Spencer, books expert at Hansons, said: 'I'm delighted for the family.

'Charlotte said she was hopping about, and the hairs stood up on her arms, when she received my call confirming it was a first issue.'

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