Original ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ Cover Art Set for Auction at Sotheby’s

The original cover illustration for J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is anticipated to reach up to $600,000 at an upcoming auction at Sotheby’s in New York. This watercolor by Thomas Taylor, which depicts Harry Potter ready to board the Hogwarts Express, was originally created for the UK edition and various translated versions of the book.

Thomas Taylor, who was 23 at the time, completed this iconic cover in just two days. This artwork, notable for its depiction of Harry with his well-known round glasses and lightning bolt scar, was not used for the U.S. edition, which was released under the title “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

In 2001, the illustration was sold at Sotheby’s in London for £85,750 (approximately $106,000), greatly exceeding its estimated price. This year, the illustration returns to the auction block with a higher presale estimate, aiming to surpass the current record for a Harry Potter item, set in 2021 when an unsigned first edition of the book sold for $421,000.

The auction will also feature a handwritten manuscript by J.K. Rowling of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard,” which was one of six originally written as gifts. This manuscript will be offered on July 10, following the exhibition of both items at Sotheby’s in New York from June 21 to 25.

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