In this April 9, 2015 file photo, "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling lights the Empire State Building to mark the launch of her non-profit children's organization Lumos, in New York. Rowling received a PEN award for her writing and for her humanitarian work. (Invision/AP/Evan Agostini)
A handwritten and hand-illustrated volume of stories given by J.K. Rowling to the editor who launched her career sold at auction Tuesday for 368,750 pounds ($467,965).
Sotheby's sold one of seven original copies of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," produced in 2007 to mark publication of the final Harry Potter novel.
It's inscribed to Barry Cunningham, the editor at Bloomsbury who accepted the first Potter book for publication. The dedication reads, "To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell. THANK YOU."
Rowling was a struggling single mother when "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was published in 1997. It and six subsequent novels about the boy wizard went on to sell millions of copies and spawn a successful movie franchise.
The wizarding secrets of five unique fairy-tales, created, hand-written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling will be unlocked in our sale of English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations in #London today, as this rare copy of 'The Tales of Beedle the Bard', presented by the author to the editor who launched her career, will be offered for auction. Let the #magic begin! #SothebysBooks #BeedletheBard #harrypotter
Sotheby's said the leather-bound book, adorned with semi-precious stones and a silver skull, sold to an anonymous telephone bidder.
Another of the seven copies, produced for a 2007 charity auction, was bought by Amazon for almost 2 million pounds.
The book, a series of fairy tales set in the same magical world as the Harry Potter stories, was published commercially in 2008.