The Birth of The Boy Who Lived: The Magic of Harry Potter's First Cover Art

New York | 26 June 2024

B lack hair. Round glasses. And a lightning bolt scar.

From the incredible collection of The Library of Dr. Rodney P. Swantko, Sotheby’s New York is thrilled to unveil the magical original cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Join Dr. Kalika Sands as she unravels the enchanting origin story of The Boy Who Lived.

In 1996, Thomas Taylor was 23 years old, fresh out of art school, an aspiring illustrator, and soon to be cover artist for an “unknown author,” J.K. Rowling. Using Rowling’s description, Taylor was the first person to give the boy wizard a public face, establishing the way the world would see Harry Potter.

The Library of Dr. Rodney P. Swantko, with live auction at Sotheby’s New York on June 26 at 10:00 AM EST, is one of the most significant private libraries to appear at auction this century. It features great rarities from Frank Baum to Walt Whitman, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edgar Allan Poe to Vladimir Nabokov.

The Library of Dr. Rodney P. Swantko is currently on display, free, and open to the public at Sotheby’s New York from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM from 21-25 June.

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