A rare presentation copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, created, hand-written and illustrated by JK Rowling, containing a personal inscription by the author to the editor who launched her career, will be offered for sale at Sotheby's London in December. The sale coincides with the release of a new Harry Potter film Fantastic Beasts.
Both will be seen as true Christmas treats, The Tales of Beedle the Bard is estimated to reach £300,000 to £500,000 when it hits the saleroom on 13th December, rather more expensive than the price of a ticket to see the film Fantastic Beasts. In 2007, a copy produced specifically for sale at auction to raise money for J.K Rowling's charity Lumos, was sold at Sotheby's for a record-breaking £1.95 million.
Pontus Silfverstolpe founder of Barnebys
, the search engine which tracks art, antiques and collectables internationally across 1,600 auction houses with 500,000 items for sale at any one time, says: Harry Potter has become an auction phenomenon. Any Harry Potter memorabilia, film posters, film costumes, and anything to do with the actors who starred in the films are eminently saleable. Prices have steadily increased over the past decade. For example recently we have seen a number of items make surprising amounts.
* JK Rowlings Harry Potter chair sells for $394,000 at Heritage auctions in the US.
* First edition's of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone sell for in excess of £25 000.
* 'Holy Grail' - hardcover first edition first printings of the first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 1997. Only 500 were published and 300 went to libraries. Copies crediting "Joanne Rowling" (not J.K.) can fetch up to £35, 000.
* By book four, JKR was signing less copies of books - so any books from 4-7 in the series with a signature are highly collectable - around £10,000.
* By book six JKR was no longer doing book tours and signed copies of books were becoming rarer and rarer.
The current copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard being sold by Sothebys is number three of the seven that J.K Rowling produced. The author presented it to British publisher Barry Cunningham, who famously accepted the first Harry Potter book for publication. This copy is especially important to Wizard fans as Cunningham played an instrumental role in launching J.K Rowlings career as an international best-selling author.
In a dedication written in the front of the book, JK Rowling wrote: ''To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell
Cunningham recalls the experience of receiving the copy on 12th December 2007 as 'unreal,' becoming 'progressively more exciting' as he opened a white jiffy envelope to reveal a beautiful, cloth-wrapped manuscript book, adorned with semi-precious stones and a sterling silver mounted skull. The original packaging, in which the copy was delivered, is included as part of the lot.
Originally presented as a personal gift to 'those most closely connected to the Harry Potter books,' the manuscript of wizarding tales is one of only seven unique copies produced for the most important people in Rowling's life during this time.
'The personal resonance of this book makes this both an exceptional and highly desirable object to come to auction. It is particularly special as it is only one of six made for those closest to the author throughout the journey of creating the Harry Potter series, gifted to the man who recognised the brilliance of J.K Rowlings writing and her potential impact on childrens literature,' explained Dr. Philip W. Errington, Director, Sotheby's Books and Manuscripts Department.
Bound in brown morocco leather, the manuscript carries seven unique mounted rhodochrosite stones. At the end of the volume, the author notes that these semi-precious stones are 'traditionally associated with love, balance and joy in daily life.' The exterior is additionally embellished with hallmarked sterling silver ornaments, centred by an ominous skull.
Containing clues that were to prove crucial to Harry Potters final mission to destroy Lord Voldemorts Horcruxes, The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a volume of five wizarding fairy-tales left to Hermione Granger by Albus Dumbledore in the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Only one tale, 'The Tales of the Three Brothers' is recounted in the book.
The magical book will be on view at Sotheby's New York from 9th-11th November and Sotheby's London from 9th-13th December, 2016.