Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rare book on birds sells for $7.9M

Last week we mentioned the sale of a full-size, complete first edition of John Jmaes Audubon's The Birds of America which was coming up for auction at Christie's in New York. We can report that the book sold for $7.9 million to a private American collector. Francis Wahlgren, Christie's international head of books and manuscripts, said the $7.9 million sale on Friday was the third-highest price for a printed book at auction. 

Christie's said the book was originally purchased by William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, the fourth Duke of Portland sometime after 1838.

Book experts estimate that the entire first edition consisted of just 200 completed copies produced during an 11-year period. Christie's said 120 complete sets are known to exist with 107 in institutions and 13 in private hands. 

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