- Title: Rare book created, hand-written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling up for sale
- Date: 8th December 2016
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JULY 2016) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** EXTERIOR OF PALACE THEATRE WHERE 'HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD' PLAY IS BEING PERFORMED SIGN READING (English): "HARRY POTTER" VARIOUS OF AUTHOR J.K. ROWLING ARRIVING AND BEING INTERVIEWED ON RED CARPET VARIOUS OF ROWLING POSING FOR PHOTOS
- Embargoed: 23rd December 2016 13:43
- Keywords: Sotheby's JK Rowling J.K. Rowling book literature auction The Tales of Beedle the Bard Harry Potter
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / UNKNOWN FILMING LOCATIONS
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / UNKNOWN FILMING LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Reuters ID: LVA0035C0Y34P
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: 'Harry Potter' fans will be able to bid for a piece of the novel series' history on Tuesday (December 13) when a rare book - created, hand-written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling - goes on sale at Sotheby's auction house in London.
The special edition of 'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' is only one of six copies Rowling produced to give as personal gifts to those who helped bring the story of the famous boy wizard to life. They are completely designed, hand-written and illustrated by Rowling herself. A seventh copy was also produced specifically for sale at auction in 2007 to raise money for the author's charity, Lumos. That fetched a record-breaking price of 1.95 million pounds.
'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' is a volume of five wizarding fairy-tales left to Hermione Granger by Albus Dumbledore in the final 'Harry Potter' book, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'.
The manuscript being offered by Sotheby's was presented to Barry Cunningham, an editor at Bloomsbury who signed Rowling and published her magical debut, 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'.
Cunningham's copy of 'The Tales' contains a personal dedication by Rowling, thanking him for believing in her work.
"The story is that Barry Cunningham received a package through the post without any fanfare at all, didn't know that he was going to receive such a gift. I think he was so delighted and so touched by it, he's kept the original courier package that it was in, in a jiffy bag, which will be sold with this, shows a little part of its history and the very unpretentious way in which it went out into the world," said Sotheby's books and manuscripts' specialist, Philip Errington.
"This one has an inscription to Barry, thanking him. It says, 'To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell', which is a lovely little insight into the role of author and editor."
Bound in brown morocco leather, the copy is adorned with hallmarked sterling silver ornaments with a skull in the centre and carries seven mounted rhodochrosite stones, according to Sotheby's.
The book is estimated to fetch between 300,000-500,000 pounds.
"One has to look at what it sold for before... last time [in 2007] it was an unpublished manuscript, it has now been published hence the reduction in price, but it's still a very special thing, it's a very significant piece of 'Harry Potter' history," Errington told Reuters.
"We've seen over the many years that we've sold 'Harry Potter' material here at Sotheby's that there's a complete range - a geographical range - of buyers and bidders. I would just say to anybody who's got a passing interest and the price is right, then give it a go because you can never tell how things will perform," he added.
This edition of 'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' will go on display at Sotheby's on New Bond Street in central London from Friday (December 9) till next Tuesday, when it will be auctioned.
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