JK Rowling’s 'Harry Potter' chair sells for almost $400K


An oak chair used by world-famous author J.K. Rowling when she penned the first two spellbinding tales of the "Harry Potter" series, has sold for the magical price of $394,000.

The 1930's chair in question, was one of four given to the novelist back when she lived in a council flat in Edinburgh. Before Rowling gave it away, she decorated the furniture with gold, green and rose paints to give it an authentic "Harry Potter" feel.

Getty Images: William Edwards | Tim Sloan for AFP

On the chair itself, Rowling hand-painted the words "I wrote Harry Potter while sitting on this chair", on top of phrases including "Gryffindor" and "You may not find me pretty, but don't judge on what you see."

The auction—which concluded on Wednesday in New York—started at $45,000, and received several bids before it went for over eight times its opening bid, according to Heritage Auctions, who managed the latest sale.

The chair's most recent owner, Gerald Gray—who paid roughly $29,000 in a 2009 auction—said he was quite surprised that the "Harry Potter" author had chosen to sell the chair.

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Gray who is the chief executive of AutoKontrol USA, added that he planned on donating 10 percent of the winning price to J.K. Rowling's own children's non-governmental organization, Lumos.

The chair was originally donated by Rowling in 2002, to the "Chair-ish a Child" auction, which was helping support the U.K.'s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) charity. It sold for $21,000, at the time.

The winning bidder will also receive a signed letter by Rowling sent "by Owl Post", which describes her history with the chair and how she was "quite sad" to see the chair leave her possession.

"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," the author's letter reads.

The new owner of the chair chose to remain anonymous.

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By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her @AlexGibbsy and @CNBCi