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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563 Comments
  • sky_dragon
    sky_dragonover 2 years
    That's cool but i think $394,000 is kinda too much for a chair(it's just my opinion)!
  • jkbear
    jkbearover 2 years
    cool
    • luvharrypotter
      luvharrypotterover 2 years
      Don't judge me....put I WOULD pay this much for this chair!! Y'all are saying "a chair". ITS NOT JUST ANY CHAIR ITS J.K. ROWLING'S CHAIR THAT HAS COOL HARRY POTTER STUFF ON IT AND YEAH. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO IS OBSESSED WITH HARRY POTTER HERE???? Shouting to @birdzrule!! U share my o session with harry Potter!
    • equality
      equalityalmost 3 years
      Honestly... Potterheads don't judge me... I was never that into the Harry Potter books. I read the series in 2he grade and always found them just ok.
    • pusheenicorn
      pusheenicornalmost 3 years
      that's cool that its her chair and she put a note with it and everything, but holy hippogriffs, that is a lot of money for a chair! 😯🤑
      • reiayanamisolos
        reiayanamisolosalmost 3 years
        wow, im a huge harry potter fan as i have watched all the movies 5+ times and am currently reading the chamber of secrets, and have alot of merch but thats a crazy amount of money for a chair!!
        • potter_head
          potter_headover 2 years
          I'm on the chamber of secrets too
          • luvharrypotter
            luvharrypotterover 2 years
            I finished the series a few days ago!!
            • birdzrule
              birdzrulealmost 3 years
              You have to read the books, much better than the movies, although the movies were impressive! I have lost count of how many times I have Read the books , I think I have read them (not exaggerating here!!) about 230+ times!! I think I watched all the movies twice. Any way, dinapop, just telling you, you have a lot to look toward to!
            • helen0916
              helen0916about 3 years
              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.
              • pusheenicorn
                pusheenicornover 2 years
                Why did you stop reading them?! They are awesome! I'll admit, that is a ton of money for a chair that J.K. Rowling sat in, though. Like if u agree
                • catboom
                  catboomalmost 3 years
                  I like them to but I would not like to pay that much fort that
                • indecisive
                  indecisiveover 3 years
                  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.
                  • bookfan2009
                    bookfan2009over 3 years
                    WOW! Looks cool, but I would not spend that much money on a chair.
                    • lizzzy_winkle
                      lizzzy_winkleover 3 years
                      Wow. I love Harry Potter! I read all the books. My fav is the first one.