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Chair JK Rowling used to write Harry Potter books to sell at auction

NEW YORK — A chair JK Rowling used to write the first two volumes of her best-selling Harry Potter series is set to sell at auction in New York on Wednesday (April 6).

Chair JK Rowling used to write Harry Potter books to sell at auction

A chair used, and later decorated, by author J.K. Rowling while she wrote the first two Harry Potter books on display alongside a letter of provenance from the author at Heritage Auctions in New York on April 4 2016 ahead of its sale on April 6. Photo: AFP

NEW YORK — A chair JK Rowling used to write the first two volumes of her best-selling Harry Potter series is set to sell at auction in New York on Wednesday (April 6).

Pre-auction bidding via the Internet had reached US$65,000 (S$87,909) on Monday for the modest 1930s-era oak chair on which Rowling, 50, sat while writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, published in Britain in 1997, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), the first two of seven volumes.

Rowling received the chair — one of a mismatched set of four — free when she was a young single mother living in subsidised housing in the Scottish city of Edinburgh.

“This was the comfiest one, which is why it ended up stationed permanently in front of my typewriter, supporting me while I typed,” Rowling wrote in a letter accompanying the chair, the auction house conducting the sale, Heritage Auctions, wrote on its website.

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

Rowling donated the chair in 2002 to an auction benefiting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children after adorning it with words in pink, gold and green paint.

“You may not find me pretty but don’t judge on what you see,” she wrote, along with “I wrote Harry Potter while sitting on this chair” and her signature, the auction house said.

The chair sold at auction again in 2009 for US$29,117, Heritage Auctions said.

“A small piece of history connected to the mythology of the Wizarding World and one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature,” the auction house’s description said.

The Harry Potter series has been translated into 67 languages ​​and sold more than 450 million copies.

Also adapted into a series of box office record-breaking films, Harry Potter made Rowling the first female novelist billionaire. AFP

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