Offbeat

By Sophie Norris


Two vintage chairs featured in the first ever Harry Potter film are expected to fetch a magical £10,000 at auction next week.

The pair of red armchairs were used in the 2001 film ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ in Gryffindor’s common room at Hogwarts.

The much sought-after antiques are being sold by an anonymous collector of movie memorabilia at Normansfield Theatre in London on April 28.

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The auction house have had interest from all over the world, in particular from three private Japanese collectors.

In the first of the franchise, as Harry and his wizarding friends are shown around their common room for the first time, the four armchairs can be seen in a circle around the fire with a matching sofa.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “The common room [in the movie] is predominantly red and features around seven of the red armchairs as well as a sofa.

“The chairs look old and worn but comfortable – which they are.

“From a buyer’s perspective, it’s all about owning something that’s played a role in one of the most popular films of all time, seen by millions of people across the world.

“We had strong bidding from America [on the last pair] but eventually the chairs sold to a French collector.

“That final hammer price proves, yet again, the power and popularity of the Harry Potter films and books. We’re delighted our client has come back to us to sell this second pair of chairs.”

The other pair, which were part of the same collection, fetched £4,200 at auction last month but due to increased interest the estimate has risen.

Chris Kirkham, Hansons London associate director, said: “It’s a rare opportunity for Harry Potter fans.

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“There was so much interest last time we have put the estimate at £5,000-£10,000 for this pair of chairs.

“It’s not often props like from such a famous film become available to buy.

“It’s incredible to think that ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ was first published 21 years ago in 1997 with a first print run of just 500 copies. The series of seven novels has now sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.”

The movie has taken more than £681m worldwide, making it one of the highest grossing films of all time alongside five other Potter films.

Due to the high interest expected, those interested can make an advance bid or bid online in real-time as the auction is streamed.

The unnamed seller said: “The chairs were used in Gryffindor’s common room. I purchased them some years ago from a major film set props company.

“Once you know what you are looking for, you can easily distinguish the chairs in Gryffindor’s common room when you are watching the film.”

ENDS