Sorry, Muggles, you missed your chance to own a piece of Harry Potter history.
The chair author J.K. Rowling sat in while writing the first two novels in the bestselling series sold at auction today for a staggering $394,000. For comparison, the last time it was on the block, in 2009, it fetched a little more than $29,000.
The starting bid this time around was $65,000.
The oak chair was one of four given to Rowling for her council flat apartment in Edinburgh, Scotland. Considered the most comfortable of the set, this chair is the one she often sat in while writing the first drafts of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter the Chamber of Secrets.
Heritage Auctions characterized the chair as “an incredible representation of a woman’s against-all-odds struggle to share her creative vision.”
Rowling decorated the chair in 2002 and donated it to an auction to benefit the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The author wrote “You may not / find me pretty ~ / but don’t judge / on what you see” on the stiles and splats, and “I wrote / Harry Potter / while sitting / on this chair” on the apron of the seat. Signed on the back, it also features the word “Gryffindor” and twin lightning bolts, a nod to Harry’s famous scar.
The chair was accompanied by the framed original Owl Post that Rowling typed and signed to the winner of the 2002 auction. It reads: “Dear new-owner-of-my-chair ~ / I was given four mismatched dining room chairs in 1995 and this was the comfiest one, which is why it ended up stationed permanently in front of my typewriter, supporting me while I typed out ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’. / My nostalgic side is quite sad to see it go, but my back isn’t. / J. K. Rowling.”
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