Auctions | April 1, 2013

Largest Selection of Harry Potter First Editions at Heritage’s New York Event

NEW YORK — The largest single selections of signed Harry Potter first editions offered at one time, including a rare first edition, first printing of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone — one of the first 500 copy press run — may conjure $30,000+ as part of Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books Signature® Auction April 10 at New York’s Fletcher Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America) at 2 East 79th Street (at 5th Ave.). A highlight among the number of signed and autographed editions is a first edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, signed by Rowling and 14 members of the cast of the Warner Bros. film. The book is accompanied by a pass to a cast and crew screening of the film and a certificate of authenticity and is expected to bring $5,000+. 


The volumes leads a deep run of the world’s more sought after children’s titles among a select library of unique books, manuscripts, prints and maps.

“The is the first time collectors can take their pick among nearly two dozen signed or rare Harry Potter editions or J.K. Rowling autographs in one auction,” said Joe Fay, Manager of Rare Book Auctions for Heritage.


The strong selection of children’s titles continues with a rare presentation copy of Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, inscribed and accompanied by an autographed letter and a small slip of paper sporting four distinct signatures, expected to fetch $12,000+. A 1918 signed letter by L. Frank Baum, the author of the beloved Wizard of Oz on his personalized stationery illustrated by images of covers of 14 "Oz" books, is expected to bring $10,000+ and is one of three Baum lots, including a first edition of Father Goose. His Book, inscribed by illustrator W.W. Denslow, expected to fetch $1,000+.


On the other end of the fiction spectrum, the auction features a 1955 first edition of Ian Fleming’s James Bond classic Moonraker — one of 10 signed Fleming titles available — which is expected to bring $30,000+. A first edition of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West, inscribed and signed by McCarthy to his close friend, Bill Kidwell, is expected to bring $2,500 and a scarce, asbestos bound copy of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, a presentation copy warmly inscribed to novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson and his wife is expected to bring $10,000+.


Several lots of important photographic volumes is led by Julia Peterkin’s Depression era Roll, Jordan, Roll, one of the first books to depict African-Americans as real people and not stereotypes. Illustrated with 90 photogravure prints and with the rare signed print, the volume is set to bring $10,000+. A full 21 volumes of The Philadelphia Photographer, a rare early American photography magazine, with 222 mounted albumen prints, is expected to bring $5,000+.


Two, early and faith-changing translations of The Bible, a 1550 copy of the historic Coverdale Bible, the first complete modern English translation of the Bible, and William Tyndale’s 1566 translation of The New Testament, are expected to bring $25,000+.


Collectors of important works on science will find particular interest in Johannes Kepler’s 1611 first edition describing why snowflakes are hexagonal (200 years before the solution was finally discovered), which is expected to realize $25,000+, a first edition of Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking On the Origin of Species, is expected to bring $20,000+, while Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev’s Principles of Chemistry, dated 1869-71, is expected to bring $20,000+. The selections continue with Julius Casserius' 1600 work on the vocal and auditory organs, with 34 striking anatomical copper plate illustrations, is expected to bring $15,000, while Christiaan Huygens’ volume from 1690 explaining his groundbreaking wave theory of light, which may fetch $15,000+.

Further highlights include but are not limited to:


Robert E. Howard’s original typed manuscript for the Conan the Barbarian story, "A Witch Shall Be Born," originally published in Weird Tales, December 1934, is expected to fetch $25,000+.


A rare second printing of the first appearance of the U.S. Articles of Confederation is expected to fetch $15,000+.


James Malton’s 1811 volume titled A Picturesque and Descriptive View of the City of Dublin and illustrated by 25 hand-colored plates is expected to bring $10,000+.


A 1755 copy of the first edition of A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson, "the most amazing, enduring and endearing one-man feat in the field of lexicography," is expected to bring $12,500+.


Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 750,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit


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