The first edition of Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets went under the hammer at a Hansons Auctioneers in Staffordshire yesterday.
A book collector’s bank balance has experienced its own engorgio charm after a Harry Potter book signed by author JK Rowling he bought for a penny sold at auction for £2300. Mark Cavoto, 51, a businessman who owns about 1500 books from the series, ordered the collector’s item off Amazon for 1p plus postage, without realising it was signed. The father of five has bought and sold about 3,000 Harry Potter books over the years. He started trading when his daughter, Holly, now 25, began collecting them and he realised they could be sold at a high asking price.
Mark, from Buxton, Derbyshire, said: “About 10 years ago, we decided to sell some of her older books and three of them were snapped up within 20 minutes on eBay for £9.99 each. “I checked the ISBN numbers and sourced the same three books second-hand on Amazon, bought them for a penny each plus postage and sold them in minutes for £9.99 each on eBay.” Mark, who helps collectors source items through his business Partworks Collectables, said he was buying 10 books a day when he found the signed copy with Holly.
He said: “Holly liked to open all the Jiffy bags. One day, she glanced at a book she’d just opened and said, ‘This is no good, it’s got ink on it’. “She carried on opening the others then went back to it. “She stared at me and said, ‘Oh my God, it’s been signed by JK Rowling – and it’s a first impression’.” Mark has struck lucky with the books before, when he spent 1p on a copy of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone from the second print run, which sold for £4600!