A first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has sold for a world record at Bonhams.
The sale marks the third time in 2017 that the book has achieved a new record price at auction.
This particular copy was signed and inscribed by author J.K Rowling herself to a close friend, and sold above its estimate for $140,236.
It featured the inscription “For Meera, Donnie, Nastassia and Kai, with lots of love from Jo (also known as J.K. Rowling)”
It was one of the first copies sent out to Rowling by her publishers Bloomsbury, and the inscription was dated 26 June 1997, just one month after it first hit bookstore shelves.
The previous record had been set two months ago in September 2017, when a copy sold at Heritage Auctions in Dallas for $81,250.
Back in the summer the record had stood at $62,380, following the sale of a copy at Bloomsbury Auctions in the U.K.
This week’s sale means the record price has more than doubled in the space of just four months.
“There is always a great deal of interest when first editions of Harry Potter books come to auction, especially, of course, in the very first one in the series,” said Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley.
“This particular example was not only in excellent condition, but it had the added attraction of a very personal inscription from the author herself.”
J.K Rowling’s debut novel has quickly become one of the most sought-after modern first editions on the market.
Just 500 copies of the book were originally printed upon its release in 1997, and 300 of those were sent out to British libraries.
Despite being well-thumbed and covered in library stamps, these examples are still considered valuable – but it’s the other 200 copies sold through bookstores which collectors are now scrambling to get their hands on.
As the biggest-selling book series of all-time, it’s unlikely the popularity of Harry Potter will decrease in the near-future – meaning we could easily see the record broken again in 2018.