This Rare Proof of ‘Harry Potter’ Misspells J.K. Rowling’s Name. Now It’s Headed to Auction.

Wizards, get your wands—er, bid paddles—ready: A rare edition of the first Harry Potter book with a glaring error is set to go under the hammer.

An uncorrected proof copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will be offered up next month in Dallas at the upcoming Historical Platinum event hosted by Heritage Auctions. The book, one of only 200 printed, includes multiple misprints that were corrected in later publications. However, the largest and most valuable typo is the misspelling of author J.K. Rowling‘s name as “J.A Rowling” on the title page.

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The proof itself was originally purchased in 1997 by St. Kenelm’s in Minster Lovell, England. Most notably, the village is a stone’s throw from where British dramas, such as Downtown Abbey, were filmed. According to the auction house, the primary school paid just £1 (or about $1.27) for the copy during a book sale. It then remained stashed in the library until 2002, when it was accidentally rediscovered by local businessman Dale Henry, who’s now prepared to part ways with the sought-after proof.

harry potter and the philosopher's stone proof copy auction
An uncorrected proof copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with J.K. Rowling’s name misspelled is headed to auction.

“When I first heard of the proof, I was immediately intrigued by both its unique history and its connection to the area—as well as the fact that my wife is a massive Potterhead,” Henry said in a press statement. “I hope others are similarly compelled, and I see this auction as an opportunity to reinvest in the community during a tough time.”

The Harry Potter series has had its fair share of auction success, of course. Everything from Daniel Radcliffe’s glasses to a pair of robes from the films have hit the block. As for the books themselves, a bidder previously paid a whopping $471,000 for a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at a Heritage Auctions event back in 2021. At the time, the sale set two records—it was the most expensive Harry Potter book ever sold and the priciest commercially published 20th-century work of fiction. The book ultimately fetched six times the pre-sale estimate and was one of only 500 copies ever printed.

There’s no telling how much this uncorrected proof could go for when it hits the auction block, though we’ll soon find out: Bidding will start on July 1 and conclude on July 25. No matter how impressive the sum, proceeds from the book’s sale will go toward St. Kenelm’s. “I hope the auction will draw interest and help reinvigorate our community,” added Henry.

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