In 1996, a fresh new illustrator by the name of Thomas Taylor, was contacted by Bloomsbury after he had left his portfolio with them in the hopes of being contracted to do children's illustrations. There was little pressure to produce what is now known to be one of the most famous books in the world. In 1996, Harry Potter was not a name that one would recognize; J.K. Rowling herself was completely unknown. And so Thomas Taylor was set with the task to produce the first ever Harry Potter book illustration.
When the series took off, Bloomsbury contracted a more well-known illustrator to produce the next covers. Still, the original work of Thomas Taylor continues to be seen all over the world. This book is an 18th printing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, signed and illustrated by Thomas Taylor in 2017.