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These print items you may have at home could make you thousands of pounds

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·3-min read
Dr Philip Errington, director of printed books and manuscripts at Sotheby's in London holds a first editor Harry Potter book annotated by author JK Rowling. (Nick Ansell/PA Wire)
Dr Philip Errington, director of printed books and manuscripts at Sotheby's in London holds a first editor Harry Potter book annotated by author JK Rowling. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Before you throw away old books, pictures and magazines, make sure they’re not worth more than you think.

Some of the print items gathering dust in your attic or tucked away on bookcases could be worth up to tens of thousands of pounds, according to packaging supplier Rajapack, alongside Antique Roadshow’s Wayne Colquhoun.

Books are the biggest potential money-maker — making up half of the most-profitable items in the study — and author signatures unsurprisingly add to the value. A first edition, first print of The Lord of The Rings trilogy signed by author J. R. R. Tolkien is currently worth £18,000 but the price could dramatically increase up to £100,000 over the next 50 years, Wayne estimated.

Meanwhile, a first printing of the complete set of Harry Potter books signed by author J.K. Rowling will be worth £50,000, up from their current value of £30,000.

A signed first edition of A Game of Thrones — the first book in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, on which the hit HBO TV show A Game of Thrones was based — will be worth £1,000 in the next 50 years.

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“As traditional skills decline, real craftsmanship will prevail and rise in value. Rarity and quality is the combination for cash,” Wayne said.

While the right edition of the right book can go for thousands, Brits could still make a few hundred pounds from other print items.

The 2014 Winter issue of Paper Magazine, featuring the Kim Kardashian West cover that “broke the internet,” sparking conversations about “racial mockery and fetishization,” is already valued at £229.99 — and could rise to £600, Wayne said.

Meanwhile, the 2017 December issue of British Vogue — the first edited by fashion designer and current editor Edward Enninful — is currently worth £29.99, and Wayne’s predictions have it rising to £250.

The March 2017 issue of Vogue Paris, which features its first-ever transgender cover star Valentina Sampaio, will also be worth £250 in 50 years, Wayne estimated.

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Even football programmes could turn a significant profit, with the official 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia programme — currently worth just £9.99 — could be worth £500 to the French, who won the match, in 50 years, Wayne estimated.

Meanwhile, Tottenham fans may be willing to pay £300 in 50 years for a programme from the April 2019 Tottenham vs Crystal Palace match, which Tottenham won, up from just £15 in 2020.

When it comes to making a fortune from print items, keeping them in their best condition is key to keeping their value, Wayne emphasised.

“It is a very important investment to keep our cherished items in good condition — we are all custodians of our treasures,” the expert said.