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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529 Comments
  • helen0916
    helen0916Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 4:25 am
    Oh, wow! I like Harry Potter, but for sure, I would NEVER pay that much for a chair. I read the Harry Potter series until the fifth book.
    • tiktok4life
      tiktok4lifeSaturday, July 4, 2020 at 5:59 am
      So expensive for a chair
      • helen0916
        helen0916Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 4:24 am
        Yeah I agree
      • tiktok4life
        tiktok4lifeSaturday, July 4, 2020 at 5:56 am
        394,000 for a chair to much money to much
        • creativity37
          creativity37Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 8:01 am
          Nice chair. It's unique. I wonder what the person's going to do with it. Use it at the kitchen table? Probably not. Put it in the living room? Maybe. Bedroom? Also maybe. What about putting it in your attic where it will never be seen again? Person: . . . no.
          • bookfan2008
            bookfan2008Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 4:55 pm
            WOW! Looks cool, but I would not spend that much money on a chair.
            • 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.
                    • grangergurl4eve
                      grangergurl4eveTuesday, April 14, 2020 at 11:12 pm
                      PotterHeads4Life