Would you pay $394,000 for the chair where Harry Potter was born? This undated file photo provided by Heritage Auctions shows details of the chair that J.K. Rowling sat on while writing the first two books of the Harry Potter series. (Joseph Schroeder/Heritage Auctions via AP, File/AP Photo/John Raoux)
Would you pay $394,000 for the chair where Harry Potter was born?
Lexile

The humble chair J.K. Rowling sat on while writing the first two books of the Harry Potter series has been auctioned in New York City. The price was $394,000. The sale was announced April 6.
 
An anonymous private collector made the winning bid. This is according to Heritage Auctions.
 
The chair is one of four mismatched chairs given to the then little-known writer for her apartment in Edinburgh, Scotland. She used the chair while writing "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."
 
The seller was Gerald Gray of Worsley, England. He said the winning bid far exceeded his expectations.
 
The unassuming 1930s-era oak chair with a replacement burlap seat was decorated with a red thistle. The chair sat in front of Rowling's typewriter when she was "writing two of the most important books of the modern era," said James Gannon. He is director of rare books at Heritage Auctions.
 
The chair was auctioned before. Rowling sold it herself to benefit a charity in 2002, where it fetched $21,000. Then it was sold on eBay in 2009. It brought $29,000.
 
"I plan to donate 10 percent to J.K. Rowling's charity, Lumos. Because that's what she did in the first place," said Gray. He runs an automobile speed control equipment company in Manchester, England. He also has one in Sarasota, Florida, called AutoKontrol.
 
He said he would like to see the new buyer display it somewhere where children could see it, perhaps in a museum or theme park.
 
He bought the chair in 2009. His daughter, a Harry Potter fan, spotted it on eBay.
 
Before Rowling donated the chair to the "Chair-rish a Child" auction in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 2002, she painted the words "You may not/find me pretty/but don't judge/on what you see" on the stiles and splats. She also signed the backrest in gold and rose colors and wrote, "I wrote/Harry Potter/while sitting/on this chair" on the seat.
 
The word "Gryffindor," the Hogwarts house of Harry, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, is spelled out on a cross stretcher.
 
The chair is accompanied by an original typed and signed letter. Rowling wrote it prior to the first auction.
 
It reads: "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. J. K. Rowling."
 
The first book was released in the United States in 1998 with the title "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
 
"The characters that Rowling created are the superheroes of the millennials as Batman and Superman were for the Sixties," said Rick Rounick. He is owner of the Soho Contemporary Art gallery, which specializes in pop culture. "The chair that Rowling claims gave her the magic to create the world of Harry Potter is a singularly significant object of her art and creative energy."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why wasn't J.K. Rowling’s back sorry to see the chair go?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (105)
  • kenziej-nic
    4/19/2016 - 08:04 a.m.

    She wasn't sorry to see it go because she sold it so 10% of the money could go to charity in the first place. also, who would want an old chair in their way all the time?

    • javantej2-hei
      4/26/2016 - 10:52 a.m.

      She wasn't sorry because their was no way to let her back rest anywhere.

    • karymer-hei
      4/26/2016 - 03:33 p.m.

      Good job on answering the question but, next time capitalize the first letter of the sentence.

  • jeysong-612-
    4/19/2016 - 08:27 a.m.

    The chair might have been comfortable to sit in, but it may have been awful for your back.4/19/16

  • tonyw-1-ver
    4/19/2016 - 08:45 a.m.

    The humble chair J.K. Rowling sat on while writing the first two books of the Harry Potter series has been auctioned in New York City. The price was $394,000.

  • allyt-612-
    4/19/2016 - 01:24 p.m.

    She was not sorry because the text states that 10% of the money that she got when the chair was bought it would go to the J. K. Rowling charity fund. I find it interesting that it's for sale because it makes me think that it's in bad condition.

  • levenicel-Orv
    4/19/2016 - 01:29 p.m.

    I would never spend that much money to go see something that is just to much money to spend going to one place if you have that much money you should spend that on your bills spend some money on what you want some for kids and wife and what ever you got left save it up that's what I would of did instead of going on that trip

  • gallimya0-dil
    4/19/2016 - 01:58 p.m.

    She wasn't sorry to see the chair go because she was donating 10 percent of her money to charity so she sold it for a good reason.

  • rachelc1-lam
    4/19/2016 - 02:21 p.m.

    I can understand wanting to buy something used by someone that inspired you, but paying and extreme amount of money for it isn't what I would say to myself is okay. I would be willing to pay 1,000 maximum for such an object.

  • kirans-lam
    4/19/2016 - 02:27 p.m.

    Having the chair J.K. Rowling sat in while writing the Harry Potter books would be an honor. As a huge Harry Potter fan, sitting in the chair that could have had the inspiration to create those characters would be really cool.

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