A chair made of oak, on which Harry Potter author JK Rowling sat on while writing the first two wizardry books, has been auctioned for $349,000 at a rare books auction held in New York this week. No information is available about the bidder who wanted to remain anonymous, according to media reports.
The 50-year-old author used the chair which was one of the four mismatched seats given free to her in Edinburgh in 1995, where she lived then.
There is apparently nothing special about the 1930s chair, until one looks at it closely to see graffiti penned on the back of it.
"You may not find me pretty
But don't judge on what you see.
I wrote Harry Potter while sitting
on this chair."
JK Rowling [Hand-painted autograph]
The chair came with a special letter "by owl post," which told the circumstances in which the chair was given to her, and what she did sitting on it.
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." the letter read.
This is the third time the chair has found its place at a charity auction, and this time the bid far surpassed the seller's expectations.
The first time, Rowling donated the chair to auction in 2002, which sold for $21,000. The owner later sold it to another auction, this time on eBay, in 2009, where it fetched 29,000. The new owner Gerald Gray, CEO of AutoKontrol USA, bought it for her daughter who was a Harry Potter fan.
Now, when it was sold for $349,000 through Heritage Auctions, Gray plans to give 10% to Lumos, JK Rowling's children's charity.