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On April 6, an anonymous donor paid an astounding $394,000 USD for a rickety old wooden chair. This, of course, was no ordinary chair, but the one J.K. Rowling sat on when she wrote the first two Harry Potter books — Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer's in the US) Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets..
What makes the chair unique is that before donating it to a charity in 2002, J.K. Rowling transformed it into a piece of literary memorabilia. Along the apron of the chair she painted, “I wrote/Harry Potter/while sitting/on this chair." The famous author's signature is scribbled on the headrest, while the word "Gryffindor" is written on the bar under the seat.
Of course, no Harry Potter memorabilia is complete without the wizard's famous lightning bolts which feature prominently on the chair's front legs. On the seat bars are the words “You may not/find me pretty/but don’t judge/on what you see."
The author also wrote a personal note that outlined the chair's history and significance. It said:
"Dear new-owner-of-my-chair / I was given four mismatched dining room chairs in 1995, and this was the comfiest one, which is why it ended up stationed permanently in front of my typewriter, supporting me while I typed out "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." My nostalgic side is quite sad to see it go, but my back isn’t. JK Rowling.”
This is the third time the 1930's oak chair has been auctioned since J.K. Rowling donated it in 2002 when it fetched $21,000 USD. In 2009, Gerald Gray paid $29,000 USD in an online auction.
Though both the amounts were impressive, they were nothing compared to what the latest owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, paid on April 6. Even Gray expressed surprise at the final price which was substantially higher than the initial bid price of $45,000 USD. The English native who now lives in the USA plans to donate 10% of the proceeds to Lumos, Rowlings' children's charity. He hopes that the new owner will put this famous chair on display for everyone to see and admire!
Resources: Guardian.co.uk, CNN, com, antiques,and hearts.com