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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 15:32 GMT
Rare JK Rowling book fetches £2m
JK Rowling
JK Rowling recently gave her first reading of the book
A handwritten copy of author JK Rowling's new book, which will never be published, has sold for almost £2m.

Rowling wrote and illustrated seven copies of the Tales of Beedle the Bard, but is offering only one for sale.

The collection of fairy tales, which is mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, had been expected to fetch up to £50,000 by Sotheby's.

All the proceeds of the auction in London are being donated to Rowling's charity Children's Voice.

"I am stunned and ecstatic," said Rowling after the sale.

"This will mean so much to children in desperate need of help. It means Christmas has come early to me."

After a bidding war between six auction participants, the book was bought by a representative from London fine art dealers Hazlitt Gooden and Fox.

To whoever now owns this book, thank you - and fair fortune be yours!
JK Rowling dedication inside the book
Sotheby's deputy director Dr Phillip Errington described it as "one of the most exciting pieces of children's literature" to have passed through the auction house.

The author will give away the remaining six copies of the book to those closely connected with the Potter novels.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard played a central role in the seventh book.

A volume was left to Hermione Granger by Hogwarts head teacher Albus Dumbledore.

Leather bound

It provided clues to help Harry and his friends in their quest to defeat his nemesis Lord Voldemort.

Each of the seven copies is bound in brown Morocco leather and mounted with different semi-precious stones.

A dedication written in the front of the book says: "Six of these books have been given to those most closely connected to the Harry Potter books during the last 17 years.

"This seventh copy will be auctioned, the proceeds to help institutionalised children who are in desperate need of a voice.

"So to whoever now owns this book, thank you - and fair fortune be yours!"

The pages of the book being turned

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