Anonymous Harry Potter Fan Pays An Astounding $394,000 For J.K. Rowling's Chair

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Front and back of the chair J.K. Rowling wrote the first two Harry Potter books (Photo Credit: Heritage Auctions)

On April 6, an anonymous donor paid an astounding $394,000 USD for a rickety old wooden chair. This, of course, was no ordinary chair, but the one J.K. Rowling sat on when she wrote the first two Harry Potter books — Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer's in the US) Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets..

What makes the chair unique is that before donating it to a charity in 2002, J.K. Rowling transformed it into a piece of literary memorabilia. Along the apron of the chair she painted, “I wrote/Harry Potter/while sitting/on this chair." The famous author's signature is scribbled on the headrest, while the word "Gryffindor" is written on the bar under the seat.

Of course, no Harry Potter memorabilia is complete without the wizard's famous lightning bolts which feature prominently on the chair's front legs. On the seat bars are the words “You may not/find me pretty/but don’t judge/on what you see."

Photo Credit: Heritage Auctions

The author also wrote a personal note that outlined the chair's history and significance. It said:

"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. JK Rowling.”

The "Owl Post" that accompanies the chair (Photo Credit: Heritage Auctions)

This is the third time the 1930's oak chair has been auctioned since J.K. Rowling donated it in 2002 when it fetched $21,000 USD. In 2009, Gerald Gray paid $29,000 USD in an online auction.

Though both the amounts were impressive, they were nothing compared to what the latest owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, paid on April 6. Even Gray expressed surprise at the final price which was substantially higher than the initial bid price of $45,000 USD. The English native who now lives in the USA plans to donate 10% of the proceeds to Lumos, Rowlings' children's charity. He hopes that the new owner will put this famous chair on display for everyone to see and admire!

Resources: Guardian.co.uk, CNN, com, antiques,and hearts.com

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531 Comments
  • lizzzy_winkle
    lizzzy_winkleWednesday, May 27, 2020 at 7:46 pm
    Wow. I love Harry Potter! I read all the books. My fav is the first one.
    • danicaelaine
      danicaelaineSunday, May 24, 2020 at 6:43 pm
      I love harry! That is why my username is harrypottersgirlfriend
      • bsc
        bscFriday, May 22, 2020 at 2:08 pm
        Oh, wow! I like Harry Potter, but for sure, I would NEVER pay that much for the chair.
        • hermionelove
          hermioneloveFriday, May 22, 2020 at 1:23 pm
          i would not buy that chair. but love the harry potter series.
          • tiktok4life
            tiktok4lifeTuesday, May 12, 2020 at 8:55 am
            I love harry potter but that is so expensive I would not but it (Like and please please please follow)
            • ohiost8
              ohiost8Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5:29 am
              I LOVE Harry Potter!!!!!😀😀😀
              • grangergurl4eve
                grangergurl4eveTuesday, April 14, 2020 at 11:12 pm
                PotterHeads4Life
                • herminefanhd
                  herminefanhdMonday, February 3, 2020 at 5:15 pm
                  I LOVE HARRY POTTER
                  • Harry!!😀Monday, November 11, 2019 at 10:39 am
                    Big fan of Harry potter!! Really cool article!! I would not spend that much money tho on a chair.
                  • Harry potterThursday, November 7, 2019 at 2:48 pm
                    I like Harry Potter but I wouldn’t pay that much for a chair.