A special edition of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” will hit the auction market in September after surviving — what could have been — a disastrous fire.
The book is one of 15 published to mark the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter. Author J.K. Rowling signed it and dedicated it.
Although those books were never sold for profit, Carina Haouchine claimed her copy by winning a competition in 2012, according to Hansons Auctioneers.
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At just 15 years old, Haouchine entered a competition by publisher Bloomsbury by writing a letter explaining why she loved Harry Potter.
She also created a watercolor portrait of the three main characters and hand-carved a wand.
The now-26-year-old from Scotland told Hansons that she grew up reading the books and that she and her little brothers wanted to win the ultimate prize — a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.
“I really wanted to enter to win the first prize of a family trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, especially as my little brothers were big Potter fans,” she recalled.
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The competition would give the top 15 contestants a signed and dedicated special edition copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” — which Haouchine ended up receiving.
“It felt amazing to be one of only 15 people chosen — but I have to admit I was also the littlest bit frustrated that I was a runner-up and had just missed out on the first-prize [vacation],” she told Hansons.
The filmmaker said she kept the book hidden away in her childhood bedroom — and then in a storage cabinet in her apartment — until earlier this year, when a fire erupted downstairs.
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“Thankfully nobody was injured … I’m very grateful the book survived,” she said.
With an estimated sale price of between $8,000 and $13,000, Haouchine said she hopes the sale of her prized possession will help pay for her upcoming wedding.
Jim Spencer, the head of Hansons’ Library Auction, said in a press release that this is technically the rarest edition of the book.
“Until last year, the public had no idea what this book even looked like because there was no visual record of its existence online,” he said to Hansons.
Hansons sold another edition of the book last year from another runner-up — for over $8,000.
“The market is flooded with convincing forgeries of Rowling’s signature, so this is a golden opportunity to buy a signed book with absolute confidence in its authenticity,” he said.
The book will be offered in Hansons Auctioneer’s Library Auction at Bishton Hall in Straffordshire, England, on September 5.
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