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
  • Harry J. PotterSunday, September 1, 2019 at 6:13 pm
    I love Harry Potter
    • BraydenThursday, August 8, 2019 at 11:04 am
      This is an article that I have to tell my friend AJ
      • catty123Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 9:44 pm
        I am a fan of Harry Potter but I would never spend that much money on a chair even if its J. K Rowling.
        • MarieTuesday, April 30, 2019 at 9:49 am
          Wow! I think this article is cool! It would be awesome if there is more books about Harry potter.
          • ohiost8
            ohiost8Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5:25 am
            I am sad there is only 7 books.:-( B-) 😭 can't she write books about Harry when he is not in school?????
            • ginnyweasly1
              ginnyweasly1Monday, May 18, 2020 at 7:11 pm
              Guess what? There is a new Harry potter book about his son!
              • hermionelove
                hermioneloveFriday, May 22, 2020 at 1:24 pm
                i know!! it is called the cursed child.
          • big_chungusThursday, April 25, 2019 at 11:13 am
            i don't read harry potter but WOW :0. that person must be broke ;)
            • ohiost8
              ohiost8Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5:25 am
              You do not know what you are missing out on!😎
            • MarshmallowThursday, April 18, 2019 at 10:11 pm
              I consider myself a big Potterhead, but jeez, I would never pay over 300,000 bucks for a chair J.K. Rowling sat in! That's like buying a table Gordon Ramsay ate at a few times. But I have to say, it is amazing how Rowling sketched into the chair and signed her name. But the price is wrong... The customer must be broke now.
              • ohiost8
                ohiost8Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5:28 am
                I feel the exact same way marshmellow.
                • loonylovegood08
                  loonylovegood08Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 11:52 am
                  I am like, the biggest Harry Potter fan of all time, and I might pay close to that if I could get a real Harry Potter memorabilia(if I ever won the lottery twice)
                  • ohiost8
                    ohiost8Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5:28 am
                    Same here
                • thepenguin
                  thepenguinThursday, April 18, 2019 at 10:09 am
                  That's one expensive chair!
                  • TorquayWednesday, April 10, 2019 at 12:06 pm
                    Anybody else think that the owner of that chair is lighter in the wallet by now?
                    • MadzthepsychoTuesday, April 9, 2019 at 10:23 am
                      nice chair.
                      • dove555
                        dove555Friday, March 22, 2019 at 4:11 am
                        That's one expensive chair!