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Original Cover Of ‘Harry Potter’ Book Sells For Record $1.9M

The original cover art for the first Harry Potter book has shattered records after being sold for $1.9 million.

The auction was held in Sotheby’s New York on Wednesday. The cover art was designed by Thomas Taylor in 1997. At the time, Taylor was a 23-year-old amateur and this was his first professional commission, given by an unknown writer by the name of J. K. Rowling. For the work, he was paid around £300. The illustration became the cover art of the first book in the Harry Potter series, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, released in the same year. The book became an instant hit.

The original cover art and its rights were first sold in 2001, at a Sotheby’s London auction. It ended up being sold for $107,000 (£85,750) – an impressive amount at the time. Since then, the work has changed hands a couple of times. In the latest auction, the cover art went with an estimate of $400,000–$600,000 – in the same ballpark as its sale price. However, the work ended up smashing all records as it was sold for $1.92 million (£1.5 million). This made it the most expensive Harry Potter memorabilia ever sold.

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Despite the controversy surrounding author J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter has continued to remain a strong brand with a loyal following. The same auction also features a handwritten copy of The Tales Of Beedle The Bard by Rowling, which has an estimate of $250,00-$350,000. The bidding for it will end on Friday.