Harry Potter memorabilia flies at auction

Harry Potter memorabilia - the pair of vintage chairs from Harry Potter and The Philosopher's StoneDemand for Harry Potter memorabilia was in full force at a recent auction in a London saleroom when a pair of chairs from the first ever film in the hugely successful franchise flew past their estimate to secure a magical hammer price of £4,200.

Much like JK Rowling’s series of stories about the boy wizard and his fantastical adventures, the two vintage red velvet chairs attracted attention from a global audience to leave behind the pre-sale estimate of £1,000 to £2,000.

With the provenance of Harry Potter memorabilia key to collectors, the armchairs can be seen on the screen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The London seller, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “The chairs were used in Gryffindor’s common room. I purchased them some years ago from a major film set props company.”

Commenting on the global demand for memorabilia from the Harry Potter films, auctioneer Charles Hanson of Hansons London said, “We had strong bidding from America, but eventually the chairs sold to a French collector.”

The Michael Ward abstract painting called 'Pandemonium' sold for £950
A Michael Ward abstract painting called ‘Pandemonium’ sold for £950. Pic: Hansons

He continued, “That final hammer price of £4,200 was more than double the original estimate and proves, yet again, the power and popularity of the Harry Potter films and books.

Elsewhere in the sale, taking place in Teddington’s Normansfield Theatre, other highlights included:

  • a Michael Ward abstract painting, Pandemonium, which sold for £950.
  • a Victorian sapphire and diamond bumble bee brooch, sold for £3,000 and
  • a Henry Bolton of Liverpool regulator longcase clock, circa 1820-40, in excellent condition and featuring a silvered circular Arabic numeral dial. Sold for £2,900.
  • six 19th-century Ottoman sherbet spoons, featuring ivory bowls and pineapple carvings, sold for £1,300 against an  estimate of £300-£500
  • a pair of late 19th-century gold inlaid Sikh Punjabi Indian scissors sold for £550.

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