Beedle the Bard copy raises nearly £370,000 at auction

Beedle the Bard copy raises nearly £370,000 at auction

A rare copy of J K Rowling’s Beedle the Bard, previously owned by the first Harry Potter editor Barry Cunningham, has sold for £368,750 at auction.

The book is one of only six special copies of Beedle the Bard produced, given to "those most closely connected to the Harry Potter books". It is inscribed with a personal dedication from Rowling, which says: “To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell… THANK YOU”.

The auction was held at Sotheby’s, which gave the book a guide price of £300,000-£500,000. The buyer was not revealed by the auction house.

In a catalogue note, Sotheby’s said Cunningham’s Beedle the Bard, a collection of fairy tales first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, contains “minor textual differences” from the published version of the book.

Arthur A Levine, publisher of the Harry Potter series in America, was also given a copy of the book, although the other four recipients are unknown. A seventh version, written to be sold at auction to raise money for the Lumos charity, sold for £1.95m at Sotheby’s in 2007.