Rowling-Signed Harry Potter Book Raises Record $228,000

Signed J.K. Rowling book
A J.K. Rowling book, signed and annotated by the author, was sold at a London charity auction. The proceeds help the English PEN writers' group, which campaigns for freedom of expression. Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg.

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- A first-edition copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” with handwritten notes by author J.K. Rowling sold for 150,000 pounds ($228,000) at a charity auction in London last night.

The Sotheby’s copy, sold to an anonymous phone bidder, also contained illustrations by Rowling. The event was organized with the English PEN writers’ association, which campaigns for freedom of expression.

There was a round of applause for the price, which was a record for a printed book by Rowling. A total of 50 authors including Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan and Seamus Heaney contributed books to the “First Editions, Second Thoughts” event, which raised a total of 439,200 pounds.

The second-highest price was the 30,000 pounds paid for “Matilda” by Roald Dahl, with new illustrations by Quentin Blake.

(Mark Beech and Scott Reyburn write for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are their own.)

Muse highlights include Frederik Balfour on the art market, Ryan Sutton on New York dining and Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night.

To contact the writers on the story: Mark Beech in London at or; Scott Reyburn in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at