A BOOK expert who is world renowned for finding Harry Potter first editions that sell for astronomical sums at auction is heading to Stratford.
Jim Spencer, books and works on paper specialist at Hansons Auctioneers, will be offering free valuations at The Malt House in Alveston, on February 25, from noon to 4pm.
Jim leads regular Library Auctions featuring books, manuscripts, maps, prints, ephemera and autographs and, such is his reputation, his sales attract collectors from across the world.
His finds have won international news coverage and he’s regularly contacted by people from all over the world convinced they might own a first edition by JK Rowling.
To date, Jim has sourced and sold 14 hard back first editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – and two more have been consigned to his next library sale.
The books, published in 1997, were among only 500 published in the first Potter book print run before the boy wizard’s adventures became a worldwide phenomenon.
Depending on condition, the books Jim has found have sold for prices ranging from £28,500 to more than £60,000.
But he has had many more successes.
A rare copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, found at a Hanson’s auction
among other books, made £65,000.
And a 16th century globe bought for £150 at an antiques fair went on to sell for £116,000.
Jim, associate director at Hansons, said: “I’ve made some great finds but I know there are lots more out there. The excitement of uncovering something extra special never diminishes. I can’t wait to see what the people of Stratford have tucked away at home.”