Monday, September 13, 2010

Most Expensive Book Heading for the Auction Block

You might say that a copy of James Audubon’s Birds of America is as rare as hen’s teeth but, thanks to the author, we know hens don’t have those. Even so, the existence of only 119 complete copies of the book are known: but they are spectacular and historically important.

The book is huge and contains over 1000 life-size illustrations of 500 different types of birds and took Audubon a dozen years to complete. Another copy of this important work sold at Christie’s in New York in 2000 for more than $8.8 million. A decade later, that remains a record price for a book. This copy will go on sale at Sotheby’s auction house in London this year. From Time’s newsfeed:
Southeby’s have hailed the December sale as one of the most important auctions of books and manuscripts for many years. Along with Birds of America, there is also a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio to go up for sale, which Sotheby's has described as “the most important book in all of English Literature.” Of the 750 that were probably printed, only 219 are known to exist today. The book dates from 1623 and is valued at $1.5 million.


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