Three rare first editions of Harry Potter saved from a SKIP are likely to raise nearly £ 20,000 if they come under the hammer.
The trio of books were saved forever after a teacher saved them in 2008 when their school library cleared for an Ofsted inspection.
65-year-old Gran kept the JK Rowling novels for 12 years with no idea what they were worth, mainly because they were littered with misspellings and typing errors.
But after her son noticed that a first edition had previously sold for thousands of pounds, out of curiosity, she decided to have it evaluated by an auctioneer.
And she was stunned after being told in 1997 that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were one of only 500 copies ever made.
It is now expected to be over £ 12,000 at auction, while two paperback debut editions of the same book could cost between £ 2,000 and £ 3,000 each.
The Buckinghamshire salesman, who did not want to be named, said: “I love books and reading and it just seemed terrible to throw them away, so I picked up about five Harry Potter books.
“I thought they might be useful to my children or grandchildren in the future. It was better than seeing them wasted.
“At the time, I had no idea that they had any value, and neither did the school.
“They had been read well and the school has always made sure that their Ofsted inspection library was immaculate. There were many other things in the leap too.
“I think the school originally had 10 first editions of Harry Potter. I don’t know what happened to the other nine.
“I took the books home and they ended up in the attic. Then about four years ago my son told me he thought the books could be valuable.
“He did some research and a London company offered there and then £ 4,000 for one of the paperbacks. But they just went back to the attic.
“Last year we saw a television interview with Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, about selling a first Harry Potter edition that was sold at auction for thousands, and decided to get in touch.”
The seller also sells two other Harry Potter books saved from the jump, a hardcover first edition of the Chamber of Secrets, and a first paperback by the prisoner of Azkaban.
They will be offered as a pair for £ 200 to £ 300 on sale on May 21st at Hansons Auctioneers in Wolseley Bridge, Staffs.
Jim Spencer, book expert at Hansons, said: “We have had phenomenal success in finding and selling Harry Potter books over the past 12 months.
“Hardback first editions of Philosopher’s Stone are as rare as chicken teeth. They are the holy grail for collectors, so I was amazed to find one last summer (2019).
“It was a former Staffordshire library book that was bought at a table sale for £ 1 and raised £ 28,500 at an auction in July (2019).
“This led to a large number of Potter finds and triggered around 50 emails a day from people around the world who thought they might have a first edition.
“Incredibly, this also led to the discovery of another first edition of Philosopher’s Stone last year, which, being in better condition than the first one, sold for a total price with a buyer’s premium of £ 57,040.
“It was brought to me in a locked briefcase by a Lancashire family. I felt like they were smuggled diamonds. Finding a third is amazing – only 497 left.
“The reason I put a modest estimate of £ 8,000 to £ 12,000 on the latest copy is that the binding is broken.
“Internally, however, it is very good and could surprise us.
“The first paperback editions are in good condition and could exceed their estimates.”