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Thread: Most expensive book in the world

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    SB Champion Captain syn's Avatar
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    Default Most expensive book in the world

    Most expensive book in the world': 19th century tome about birds in America sells for £7.3m

    A stunning book by the wildlife artist who influenced Charles Darwin sold for a world-record £7.3million last night.

    The rare copy of John James Audubon’s Birds Of America was bought by London dealer Michael Tollemache for £7,321,250, making it the most expensive printed book in the world.

    Mr Tollemache, who was bidding in the Sotheby’s auction room, described the 1827 work as ‘priceless’.

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    SB Champion Captain syn's Avatar
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    Audubon painted life-sized illustrations of almost 500 breeds in the 40-inch-high book, which merited several mentions in Darwin’s The Origin Of Species.

    Only 119 copies exist, of which fewer than a dozen are in private hands.

    Born in Haiti in 1785, Audubon grew up in France and emigrated to the U.S. at 18. He had been fascinated by birds since childhood and was determined to illustrate America’s breeds more realistically than ever before.

    Using a technique which would shock modern wildlife artists, Audubon hunted them down and shot them before propping them up on wires to paint.

    Each drawing would take about 60 hours to complete.

    Many of his beautifully rendered subjects are now extinct, such as the passenger pigeon which until the mid-19th century migrated across the U.S. in flocks of up to two million. The book was sold as part of the collection of the late Lord Hesketh.

    It included a Shakespeare First Folio from 1623, said to be the most important book in English literature, which made £1.5million.

    David Goldthorpe, of Sotheby’s, said the two were the ‘twin peaks’ of the book world. He added: ‘To have these items in one sale is remarkable.’




    Audubon, who died in 1851, was part frontiersman, part artist, and possessed a rare, almost unequaled ability to observe, catalogue and paint the birds he observed in the wild.

    Experts say the book he produced is unmatched in its beauty and also of considerable scientific value, justifying its stratospheric cost.

    Pom Harrington, owner of the Peter Harrington rare book firm in London, said it has been ten years since the last complete edition of 'Birds of America', with all of the illustrations, has been auctioned - and that was sold for £5.6million by Christie's auction house in 2000, a record for a printed book at auction.

    The quality of the edition offered today by Sotheby's was extremely high, said Harrington, and it is unusual to find one not in a museum or academic institution.

    'If you want to buy an example of a rare work of art, this is one of the best,' he said. 'It is valuable in its artistic nature because it is so well drawn.'

    The plates were printed in black and white and hand coloured afterwards. That made the production process extremely expensive, especially since it was carried out by 'the best artists of the time', said Harrington.

    The collection of 435 hand-coloured prints, made from engravings of Audubon's watercolours, measures more than 3ft by 2ft because Audubon wanted to paint the birds life-size.

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    SB Champion Captain syn's Avatar
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    The size of the illustrations makes them extremely valuable as standalone pieces of art, which makes the complete edition vulnerable to being broken up so the individual prints can be sold one-by-one.

    Harrington said the wild turkey that is depicted in the first big plate of the book can be sold for £126,000.

    But Mark Ghahramani, a rare book specialist at Classic Bindings in London, said it is unlikely that Birds Of America will be divided up for resale because it is probably more valuable if left intact.








  4. #4
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    Wink

    priceless is somewhat near to 7 million USD, now we know

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    Tfs!!!!!!!!!

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    awesome share!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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    thx 4 sharing
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    ~ cavalier ~ ♀ ☣ )o( ⌆ Lieutenant-Colonel Lisbonstar28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syn View Post
    Most expensive book in the world': 19th century tome about birds in America sells for £7.3m

    A stunning book by the wildlife artist who influenced Charles Darwin sold for a world-record £7.3million last night.

    The rare copy of John James Audubon’s Birds Of America was bought by London dealer Michael Tollemache for £7,321,250, making it the most expensive printed book in the world.

    Mr Tollemache, who was bidding in the Sotheby’s auction room, described the 1827 work as ‘priceless’.

    There is a book a lot more expensive than this one. The original English Magna Carta is a several hundred year old law book estimated to be worth in the region of $36 million and i think has a duplicate copy worth $17 - 20 million.
    So may it be

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisbonstar28 View Post
    There is a book a lot more expensive than this one. The original English Magna Carta is a several hundred year old law book estimated to be worth in the region of $36 million and i think has a duplicate copy worth $17 - 20 million.
    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    Greatest Ghonchu Lieutenant General crazy_fog's Avatar
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    Nice Share............

    Away from God, away from happiness.



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    Nice share ...tfs .....

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