J.K. Rowling's chair was sold at an auction Wednesday
The winning bid was $394,000; the winner is staying anonymous
At first glance, it looks like a shabby, wooden chair with colorful graffiti scrawled on it. But look closer and the back of the chair reads: “You may not / find me pretty / but don’t judge / on what you see.”
Follow the words along the seat and it reads: “I wrote / Harry Potter / while sitting / on this chair.” Gold lightning bolts adorn the two front legs of the chair. And there’s one huge, hand-painted autograph: J.K. Rowling.
The author penned the first two Harry Potter books while sitting on the chair. And it fetched $394,000 at a rare books auction held in New York on Wednesday. The winning bidder wanted to remain anonymous, according to Heritage Auctions.
Rowling had received four mismatched dining room chairs in 1995 when she was a single mother in Scotland. She chose the most comfortable one while writing “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” on her typewriter.
In a letter, she wrote to the auction winner: “My nostalgic side is quite sad to see it go but my back isn’t.”
This isn’t the first time her humble chair has been up for auction.
In 2002, Rowling donated a chair to a charity auction and it sold for $21,000. That owner eventually sold it in an online auction in 2009. Gerald Gray, the CEO of AutoKontrol USA, bought it for $29,000. Gray told Heritage Auctions that he plans to donate 10% of the winning price to Lumos, Rowling’s children’s charity.