The chair, on which the British novelist painted the words "I
wrote Harry Potter while sitting on this chair," came from a
dining set that Rowling was given when she was a struggling
single mother living in Scotland.
It was put on the block by businessman Gerald Gray, who bought
the chair in 2009, and auctioned in New York by Heritage
Auctions on Wednesday. The buyer wished to remain anonymous,
James Gannon, director of rare books at Heritage Auctions, said
the chair itself had little value but its literary association
made it prized.
"She (Rowling) said at the time that it was something you would
pick up at a junk shop," he said. "But it's really just the fact
that she took the time to decorate it and the fact she actually
wrote the books on it that is important."
Rowling's seven Harry Potter books about a boy wizard and his
friends have become a worldwide phenomenon selling more than 450
million copies. The books also spawned eight blockbuster movies
and theme park attractions in Florida and California.
A few years after the publication in 2000 of "Harry Potter and
the Goblet of Fire," Rowling donated the chair to an auction
benefiting a British children's charity. Gray, a native of
England and CEO of the vehicle speed control company AutoKontrol
USA, bought it in 2009 for about $29,000 at another auction.
Gray said he hoped the chair would now go on display in a museum
or one of the Harry Potter attractions. He also said he would
donate 10 percent of Wednesday's auction profits to Rowling's
children's charity Lumos.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bill Trott)
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