COLLECTING GUIDE Harry Potter memorabilia
Left A selection of Harry Potter trading cards offered as part of Ewbank’s inaugural dedicated auction. Image courtesy of Ewbank’s Auctions
Harry Potter trading cards Ahead of an inaugural sale of Harry Potter trading cards, Roy Raftery, one of the UK’s specialists, considers the boom in the niche area
In the 1990s, trading cards, once associated purely with sports, became a distinct category of collectable card games, with subjects including Pokémon, cartoons, comic book characters and films – such as Harry Potter.
Until recently, eBay was the main selling platform for such cards but auctions are beginning to get a look-in.
Ewbank’s inaugural trading cards sale includes a series of Harry Potter collecting cards from an extensive singleowner collection of Pokémon, Magic The Gathering and other franchises.
Most are in mint, or close to mint, condition, with many still sealed after being put in storage by the consignor who acquired them as an employee of producers Wizards of the Coast in the late 1990s.
The Harry Potter trading card game was discontinued in 2003, but a number of expensive cards are still in circulation. The best way to describe them is a ‘ghost foil’, as they look nothing like any other Harry Potter card. The front is totally white/silvery shiny and features one of the main characters. They are highly collectable. Harry Potter base set boxes (the first ever set) sell for more than £350 if sealed.
Ewbank’s Auctions recently launched a series of trading cards auctions with the first on August 25, including a number of Harry Potter cards, for more details go to www.ewbankauctions.co.uk
Below right A signed menu to celebrate the premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at The Savoy, November 3, 2002, with a ticket and wristband from Radcliffe’s double, sold for £600, double its low estimate. Image courtesy of Ewbank’s Auctions
50 ANTIQUE COLLECTING
Collecting Harry Potter Alastair McCrea, partner at Ewbank’s Auctions, assesses the market for the famous franchise What do people collect? There are so many options, but of course budget will determine what people can afford. Some people will collects books, while others may focus on a particular character like Harry or Hermione. Others will just want anything directly connected to the film franchise, preferably something produced in low quantities.
How do prices vary? The most important distinction to make is between items directly linked to the film productions and massproduced objects inspired by the franchise. The good news for fans is that even pieces directly related to the film productions, such as promotional photos or posters, or ephemera linked to premieres, or even production-linked paperwork such as call sheets remain affordable, with prices starting at under £100.
What about the books? This is arguably the most active area for serious collectors of Harry Potter, and certainly offers the most opportunities if you have the money. Because the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was not an immediate hit, it meant that the first UK issue, released in June 1997, was quite limited, with only 500 hardcover versions being produced. If you have one of those and it is in good condition, you are very lucky indeed. In July this year, one copy sold for £80,000 at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.