Harry Potter memorabilia can fetch spellbinding prices
Our antiques expert Allan Blackburn looks at a magical category of collectables from the world of movies and literature...
I got a shock when I heard it’s twenty years this week since the first Harry Potter film came out. It feels more like five, although when I think about it, Daniel Radcliffe does look a bit more grown up these days.
While the books’ popularity took a while to reach the attention of toy and gift manufacturers, the films’ visual appeal catapulted Harry Potter merchandising into another dimension. Simply too many were produced to make most pieces worth anything on the secondary market, let alone the millions of inferior copies.
Touched by a little movie magic, props from the actual films make great presents and collectables. The highest prices are of course commanded by anything authenticated as belonging to the boy wizard himself: a pair of silver metal wire frame glasses with round clear lenses, worn by Daniel Radcliffe in the first film, sold for £15,224 in 2015.
On the other hand, you can pick up a standard goblet, one of hundreds decking the Hogwarts dining table, for £30-£40. Behind the scenes items, like crew jackets, directors’ chairs, or call sheets, lend a real air of movie authenticity.
The Harry Potter craze also sparked demand for associated theme items, like ceramic and soft toy dragons, both among manufacturers and in the antiques centre. In fact, I’d soon learn when a new release was due by the number of dealers dusting off Enchantica, Yare Pottery, and Clare Craft pieces, and placing them centre stage! It’s always nice to see pieces enjoying a bit of the limelight, and going home with a delighted new owner.
Pictured is a small sample of Harry Potter books we regularly have in the centre. In a variety of editions (although, sadly, not that first ‘Holy Grail’ hardback, I’ve checked!), prices range from £4-£10. We also have many porcelain, pottery and brass dragons over a wide range of prices, and movie memorabilia, including games and glassware, even a Hogwarts ‘sorting hat’, priced £10.
Signatures also push up price and desirability. A poster from the original film, signed by Daniel Radcliffe, is currently on the market for over £500. Or how about a film script? A copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’, signed by both Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, recently sold for £2,400, quite the wizard investment.