Harry Potter original book cover art set to auction for record-breaking sum | Books | Entertainment

Back in the mid-1990s JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected by no less than 12 publishers before being accepted by Bloomsbury.

The book, which became the fourth best-selling novel of all time, had its original cover art painted by 23-year-old Thomas Taylor, who was fresh out of art school.

And now his original watercolour work of Harry standing in front of the Hogwarts Express is going up for auction.

According to Sotheby’s New York, the piece is expected to sell for between $400,000-$600,000 (£319,000-£479,000)

This is the highest pre-sale estimate ever placed on Harry Potter-related work.

The artwork was originally auctioned at Sotheby’s London for $107,000 (£85,500). The current record for the most expensive Harry Potter item ever sold is an unsigned first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which went for $421,000 (£336,000) at auction in Dallas back in 2021. Assuming the watercolour cover art trumps this figure, we’d be looking at a new record.

The artwork is available to view at Sotheby’s New York from June 21 to 25.

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