Complete Set of Signed Harry Potter First Editions Head to Auction
London — Christie’s Valuable Books and Manuscripts auction on 13 July will present a complete set of Harry Potter first editions, each signed or inscribed by J.K. Rowling (estimate: £100,000-150,000), offered by one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal, majority owned by Pedro Pinto family, with a portion of the sale proceeds to benefit the Lumos Foundation. The collection includes the very rare hardback first edition, first impression of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with the ‘wand’ error on page 53 and the misspelling of ‘Philosopher’s’ on the back cover. No other complete set including the rare first edition, first impression of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has appeared at auction since 2014. The set will be on view at Christie’s London from 9 to 12 July 2022, as part of Christie’s Classic Week.
The set of these rare first editions is owned by renowned bookshop Livraria Lello in Porto, often listed as one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores thanks to its neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau interior, including the famous winding crimson staircase. In recent years, since the entry of the Pedro Pinto family, which in 2015 bought the majority of the share capital, Livraria Lello has lived a second life, investing in the appreciation of the book and in a vast cultural programme. This year Gemma, a special and exclusive room inside Livraria Lello, opened its doors, entirely dedicated to rare, old and first edition books. Since 2015 Livraria Lello has defined a new mission, to inspire the whole world to read, and the auction of this very rare collection of first edition Harry Potter books intends to draw attention to the importance of the book, and above all to the role that this wizard and its author had in encouraging thousands of young people around the world to read. The auction takes place on the 25th anniversary of the release of the first edition of Harry Potter.
While the story of the boy wizard would go on to take the world by storm, only 500 copies of the hardback version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were printed, 300 of which went to libraries. After the phenomenal success of the first book, the boy wizard’s adventures continued, with each successive book covering a year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, and with the print runs of the first editions increasing in line with expected demand.
A portion of proceeds from the sale will be donated by Livraria Lello to benefit Lumos, an international charity striving for a future where every child is raised in a safe, loving, family home, by transforming care systems around the world and working to end institutionalisation. Founded by J.K. Rowling in 2005 and named after the light giving spell in Harry Potter, Lumos sheds light on the root causes of family separation — poverty, conflict and discrimination — and demonstrates that children can safely be reunited with families. Lumos supports families in Colombia, Haiti, Jordan, Panama, Moldova and Kenya. Lumos have pivoted their work in Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova to reach vulnerable families caught up in the Ukraine crisis with food, medicine and hygiene supplies, as well as reaching children with learning materials and psychosocial support.