Sotheby's to auction a unique copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard created by J.K. Rowling
December 6, 2016: A rare presentation copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, created, hand-written and illustrated by JK Rowling, containing a personal inscription by the author to the editor who launched her career, will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s London on December 13, 2016. The beautiful book is estimated to reach £300,000-500,000.
The present copy, number 3 of the 7 that J.K Rowling produced, was presented to British publisher Barry Cunningham, who famously accepted the first Harry Potter book for publication. The copy holds considerable special significance, as Mr Cunningham played an instrumental role in launching J.K Rowling’s career as an international best-selling author. In a dedication written in the front of the book, JK Rowling wrote: “To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell… THANK YOU”.
Mr Cunningham recalls the experience of receiving the copy on 12 December 2007 as ‘unreal’, becoming ‘progressively more exciting’ as he opened a white jiffy envelope to reveal a beautiful, cloth-wrapped manuscript book, adorned with semi-precious stones and a sterling silver mounted skull.
The original packaging, in which the copy was delivered, is included as part of the lot. The manuscript of wizarding tales is one of only seven unique copies produced for the most important people in Rowling’s life during this time. In 2007, a seventh copy produced specifically for sale at auction to raise money for J.K Rowling’s charity Lumos, was sold at Sotheby’s for a record-breaking £1.95 million.
Bound in brown morocco leather, the manuscript carries seven unique mounted rhodochrosite stones. At the end of the volume, the author notes that these semi-precious stones are ‘traditionally associated with love, balance and joy in daily life.’ The exterior is additionally embellished with hallmarked sterling silver ornaments, centred by an ominous skull.
Containing clues that were to prove crucial to Harry Potter’s final mission to destroy Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes, The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a volume of five wizarding fairy-tales left to Hermione Granger by Albus Dumbledore in the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Only one tale, ‘The Tales of the Three Brothers’ is recounted in the book.