The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, December 17, 2017


Unique copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard sells for £368,750
A Major Piece of Harry Potter History. Photo: Sotheby's.


LONDON.- This afternoon at Sotheby’s in London, a rare presentation copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, created, hand-written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling sold for £368,750 to an anonymous buyer bidding on the telephone.

Containing a personal inscription by the author to the editor who launched her career, the present copy, number 3 of the 7 that J.K Rowling produced, was presented to British publisher Barry Cunningham, who famously accepted the first Harry Potter book for publication. The copy holds considerable special significance, as Cunningham played an instrumental role in launching J.K Rowling’s 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… THANK YOU”. Cunningham recalls the experience of receiving the copy on 12 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. In 2007, a seventh 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.

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.






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