JK Rowling’s oak chair could have its own M&S advert, because this isn’t just any oak chair, it’s the oak chair she sat on while writing the first two books in the Harry Potter series. As such, this beloved seat hasn’t been resigned to a car boot sale – instead it fetched a whopping £278,000 ($394,000) at the Heritage Auction sale in New York.
It’s had a good innings: it’s a 1930s oak piece and is actually one of four mismatched chairs given to the writer while she was working in Edinburgh on her magical tale – and it’s not the first time it’s experienced an auction.
The chair has actually been sold off twice before, once by Rowling for charity. Ahead of this original sale in 2002, Rowling painted a message on it: “You may not find me pretty, but don’t judge on what you see. I wrote Harry Potter while sitting on this chair”.
There was also a letter with the chair in which she told the new owner: “My nostalgic side is quite sad to see it go, but my back isn’t.”
The new owner has opted to stay anonymous. Seller Gerald Gray from Worsley in Greater Manchester, said he’s following in Rowling’s footsteps with the sale.
“I plan to donate 10% to JK Rowling’s charity, Lumos, because that’s what she did in the first place,” he told the Guardian. It’s said he originally bought the chair after his Harry Potter-loving daughter spotted it on eBay.