WHAT: In New York City on April 6, the chair where author J.K. Rowling sat as she wrote “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” will sell at the Heritage Auctions gallery there.
Before donating the chair to a small charity auction in 2002, Rowling painted it with lettering that reads: “You may not find me pretty, but don’t judge on what you see.” On the seat apron she painted, “I wrote Harry Potter while sitting on this chair.” The backrest is signed, and under the seat on a stretcher is “Gryffindor.”
MORE: The chair comes from a set that Rowling was given in government housing when she was a young, single mother living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Rowling used the most comfortable chair in the set as her main writing chair.
SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: Short of laying hands on original manuscripts for the first two Potter books, this chair is the most important piece of original Potter memorabilia to sell to date. Rowling’s hand lettered message adds immensely to value.
HOT TIP: The chair will sell with the original “Owl Post” that Rowling typed for the first charity auction. In it, she writes of receiving four mismatched dining chairs in 1995 and how this “was the comfiest one.” We also learn that she produced the manuscripts by typewriter.
BOTTOM LINE: Potter enthusiasts of all ages will want this piece of literary memorabilia. Expect bidding to be fierce: The chair could end up in an institution such as a university or library.