13 December 2007
- Proceeds will benefit The Children's Voice campaign -
- Auction record for a modern literary manuscript -
- Auction record for a work by JK Rowling -
- Auction record for a children's book -
One of just seven copies of a new work by JK Rowling - The Tales of Beedle the Bard - sold at Sotheby's today for an unprecedented £1,950,000. Created, hand-written and illustrated by JK Rowling, the volume of previously untold stories attracted pre-sale interest from all corners of the world. Proceeds from the sale will go to The Children's Voice - a campaign run by the Children's High Level Group, the charity JK Rowling co-founded in 2005 with Emma Nicholson MEP that seeks to make life better for vulnerable children across Europe. Today, six bidders locked horns in a battle to secure it - the hammer finally falling to a representative from London fine art dealers Hazlitt Gooden and Fox.
Speaking after the sale, JK Rowling said: "I am stunned and ecstatic. This will mean so much to children in desperate need of help. Christmas has come early for me."
Emma Nicholson, MEP, added:
"I am delighted with the money raised by the auction of The Tales of Beedle the Bard and profoundly grateful to my co-chair JK Rowling for her generosity in the original gift.
"The Children's High Level Group charity, through its Children's Voice campaign, works to improve the health, welfare and education of children suffering in appalling conditions in institutions across Eastern Europe and beyond where more than 1 million children live in large residential institutions. In most cases they are without adequate human or emotional contact and stimulation, while many only just survive without life's basics such as adequate shelter and food.
"We rely solely on public donation to fund our work and this fantastic sum of money will make a huge difference to the lives of many vulnerable children."
Dr. Philip Errington, Deputy Director, Sotheby's Books and Manuscripts department said: "Sotheby's has been thrilled to work with JK Rowling and The Children's Voice in selling this wonderful manuscript. This is one of the most exciting pieces of children's literature to have passed through Sotheby's. We have to reach back 80 years to find a comparison when we sold the manuscript of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland on behalf of the original Alice."
Containing clues that were to prove crucial to Harry Potter's final mission to destroy Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes, The Tales of Beedle the Bard is the volume of five wizarding fairy-tales left to Hermione Granger by Albus Dumbledore in the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Only one - The Tale of the Three Brothers - is recounted in the book. In Tales of Beedle the Bard, the four remaining tales are revealed for the first time.
The proceeds from the sale of the manuscript will enable The Children's Voice campaign to transform the lives of thousands of vulnerable children.
A limited edition commemorative booklet, giving glimpses of the contents of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, is still available from Sotheby's. It can be ordered online at www.sothebys.com or by calling +44 207 293 6444. Copies will also be available at Sotheby's galleries in London and New York. The catalogue will be priced at £8 by mail order and £6 in the galleries. All profits from its sale will also be donated to The Children's Voice campaign.
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