Etched in the chair is “I wrote Harry Potter while sitting on this chair,” and it is exactly what you think it is. J.K. Rowling received the 1930s-era oak chair in 1995 with a set of four free mismatched dining room chairs when she lived in a government-subsidized housing unit in Edinburgh, Scotland. She decided this one was the “comfiest” of the four, put in front of her typewriter, and then this came to be the chair she sat in when she typed up 1997’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and, published one year later, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The chair goes up for auction today.

Rowling painted this chair in 1997 with gold, rose, and green paint. On the legs are lightning bolts in green and gold. Her signature is scrawled across the head rest. And the chair also holds her handpainted quote: “You may not / find me pretty ~ / but don’t judge / what you see.”

“My nostalgic side is quite sad to see it go,” said Rowling, “but my back isn’t.

This chair is especially important because it holds literary weight in the Harry Potter world that not many other artifacts have.


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“There’s not that many things in the Harry Potter world that are especially valuable because her books became so popular so fast,” James Gannon, the director of rare books at Heritage Auctions explained.

The chair was last sold at auction in 2009 for $29,000 and will include the original Owl Post that Rowling typed up about the history of the chair. The starting price is $65,000. The auction also includes seven British first editions of Harry Potter all signed by Rowling, starting at $10,000-10,500 and a 1776 broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence. The auction will take place at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel both live and online.

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