The number of Harry Potter books in existence is greater than the entire population of the United States (450 million books to a reported 323 million in 2016), so it’s pretty safe to say the franchise is popular with…well, everyone. Fans of the books and the films are eager to get their very own piece of that fantastical world, and the demand for “Harry Pottery,” as its referred to by collectors, has grown dramatically. A new book, The Unofficial Guide to the Collectibles of Our Favorite Wizard Harry Potter, is less a buyer’s guide and more a tourist’s guide to the Pottery phenomenon.
Even if you never plan on visiting an auction in the hopes of netting a genuine Hogwarts sweater ($286) it’s fun to peruse the pages and explore the kinds of things fans covet. A pair of Harry’s glasses from the first movie – several were made – went for $20,000 at auction, and Hagrid’s crossbow sold in 2012 for $25,000. The Arithmancy sign from Diagon Alley went for a mere $800, and the chocolate frog card from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (which is actually two cards, one with green screen and one without) sold for just $600.
Mixed in between the gorgeous photos are interesting tidbits of Harry Potter history. The first printing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, for example, featured an unnamed wizard on the back and on the spine. Supposedly, children were upset to learn that the wizard on the back wasn’t actually in the book, so he was removed and replaced with a drawing of Professor Dumbledore. (Copies from that original print run routinely sell for $40,000 and up.)
The Unofficial Guide probably won’t be helpful for any hardcore collectors, as prices will change and the book doesn’t pretend to be a comprehensive list of everything you could possibly collect. But it’s a wonderful companion for those of us who long to share a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.