A first edition copy of a Harry Potter book, estimated to be worth £10,000, has been gifted to an Isle of Wight charity.

As if by magic, the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone book was left at one of RSPCA Isle of Wight's shops by a mysterious donor.

A world-renowned expert on the paperbacks described it as being in "exceptional condition" and said it would be "very difficult to find another copy that's as well-preserved as this one".

After noticing the donation, an RSPCA IW volunteer and avid fan of the smash hit franchise checked for well-known markers of a first edition and saw the book had them all.

Rebecca Busby, fundraising, marketing and engagement officer at the RSPCA Isle of 
branch, said: “She called me and I could hear her excitement as she said, 'I can't believe it we have a Harry Potter first edition'.

"'Please could you find somewhere to sell this, as we can't sell it in the shop’."

After making the discovery, RSPCA Isle of Wight staff called Jim Spencer, of Hansons Auctioneers.

He assessed the book and, thanks to its ‘exceptional condition’, estimated its value to be between £7,000 to £10,000.

Isle of Wight County Press: Hansons books expert Jim Spencer with the Harry Potter first edition.Hansons books expert Jim Spencer with the Harry Potter first edition. (Image: Hansons)

Money raised from the sale of the book will go to the Island branch of the RSPCA.

Jim said: "It would be very difficult to find another copy that's as well-preserved as this one, so it deserves to set tails wagging at auction. 

“This book represents the beginning of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Not many paperbacks published in the 1990s have the potential to fetch thousands of pounds at auction. Nobody predicted the huge popularity of Harry Potter, so these books were printed on cheap paper stock. 

“This, coupled with the fact it's a children's book, means most examples are in very 
poor condition, showing signs of being swung about in a school rucksack, full of doodles, stained from orange squash, or, at the very least, faded at the spine from 
sunlight hitting the bookcase. 

“This one is exceptional. The only minor flaws are a couple of lightly folded corners 
and the usual light browning to page edges, which is in fact a reassuring sign due to 
the cheap paper that was used. I'd be worried if the pages didn't have this slight 

“It should appeal to collectors all over the world and the lucky buyer can be doubly 
happy in the knowledge money raised will help animals like Harry.” 

One of the dogs who will benefit from funds from the sale of the book is another Harry, an 11 
month-old cockapoo-type.

He found himself in the care of the branch after his owners were no longer able to looked after him.

Rebecca said: “We are sure Harry will help his namesake, Harry the dog, find his magical home and enjoy an amazing new chapter in his life.” 

The book is due to go under the hammer to raise money for the charity at the end of the month (February).

Isle of Wight County Press: From left: Gaby Adamson and Lorraine Allen and 11-month-old, Harry.From left: Gaby Adamson and Lorraine Allen and 11-month-old, Harry. (Image: Hansons auctioneers)