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Rare Harry Potter book fetches €31,000 at auction

A rare original copy of the first Harry Potter book has sold for €31,000 at auction.

The first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling’s debut novel, was bought by a private collector from the UK.

The 1997 book, published with two errors, was sold by at a church jumble sale for £1 about 20 years ago.

The hardback lay in a cupboard at the owner’s home in Staffordshire until it was discovered by auctioneers.

The seller, a 54-year-old office worker who did not want to be named, said: ‘I can’t believe it.

‘It’s what I’d hoped for but I never really believed my book would make that price.’

Only 500 copies were published in the tale’s first print run, with 300 sent to libraries across Britain.

The first edition could be identified by two typographical errors, including ‘Philosopher’s’ being spelt as ‘Philospher’s’, the auctioneers added.

The sale coincided with author JK Rowling’s birthday, 31 July – which is also the birthday of her fictional creation Harry Potter.