156 of the Most Expensive Books and Manuscripts In The World – Over 13 Centuries
This is a collection of printed books, manuscripts, letters, music scores, comic books, maps, and other documents that have sold for over $1 million in the United States. From a 7th-century Quran leaf palimpsest and an early 8th-century St Cuthbert Gospel to a 21st-century holograph manuscript of J. K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard, the books span generations. A Southern Song annotated woodblock edition of the Book of Tang, written around 1234, is the oldest printed book on the list. A version of the Gutenberg Bible sold for $2.4 million in 1978, making it the first book to sell for more than $1 million.
John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827–1838), which is represented by eight different copies in this list, is the book that has sold the most copies over $1 million. With three separate works, Abraham Lincoln is the most prominent author, followed by Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Martin Waldseemüller, George Washington, André Breton, and Robert Schumann.
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