World’s Most Expensive Book Sold by Sotheby’s for £7.3 Million

When something becomes the world’s most expensive without replicating it in gold, platinum and diamonds, you know it is something really valuable, something really rare that cannot be reproduced easily. A copy of John James Audubon’s Birds of America tonight became the most expensive book ever sold when it went under the hammer at Sotheby’s for £7.3m. It is one of the best preserved editions of the 19th century masterpiece.

The auction was a rare chance to own the masterpiece with 435 hand-colored illustrations. The book is seen as a key volume on US natural history. The book was sold to an anonymous collector bidding by telephone. Each individual picture in the book is so valuable that there were fears expressed in some quarters that the masterpiece could be broken up and sold as 435 separate works of art.

The book is invaluable because it is considered a major original contribution to the study of natural history in the New World. It’s also one of the most visually stunning books in the history of print. The Birds of America plates were printed in black and white and hand-colored afterwards. The book measures more than 3ft by 2ft because Audubon wanted to paint the birds life size.

Via: guardian,

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