Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone proof sells for £15k

Jim Spencer from Hansons
Jim Spencer from Hansons said it was a "remarkable lot"

An original proof of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has been sold for £15,000 two days after bids fell short of its reserve price at auction.

The book was discovered during the summer at St Kenelm's Primary School in Minster Lovell, Witney, Oxfordshire.

It went under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on Tuesday but failed sell.

Originally purchased for £1, the money raised will go towards new school resources and the buyer plans for the book to be displayed at a local museum.

Jim Spencer, head of books at Hansons Auctioneers, said he was pleased there had been a "happy ending ".

He said there had been a "rollercoaster of emotions" since the failure to reach the reserve price on Tuesday and it had initially been thought it would be put up for sale again in November.

"I was shell-shocked that it didn't get the reserve in place to get the school a fair price," he added.

The book has a plain yellow and white cover and lists the author as "J. A Rowling" on the title page.

The uncorrected proof copy is one of only 200 printed by Bloomsbury in 1997. It was bought in a local bookshop sale in the same year.

Mr Spencer said the book's new owner was from Faringdon in Oxfordshire and had since paid £15,000 plus a buyer's premium.

"It's staying at home to be enjoyed by the public," he added.

Speaking before the auction, former head teacher Bob Alder, 75, said it was originally bought to give the children an "early taste" of the Harry Potter story.

"The teachers did share it with the children and they loved it - but it didn't get picked up much," he said.

When the series became massively popular, the school took the book off its shelves for safe keeping, but it went missing in 2015.

Mr Alder came across it while tidying out a school cupboard during the summer holidays.

The school had decided to sell the book to help students "further develop their own love of literature" through new books and updated equipment.

Mr Alder said finances were tight at the school and its sale would provide a valuable boost to resources.

The book had been auctioned alongside a proposed illustrated cover of the first Harry Potter book and a 15th anniversary competition prize edition of the book, signed and dedicated by Rowling.

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