Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Most Expensive Book in the World

On December 7th, Sotheby's is set to auction off an original copy of John James Audubon's, "Birds of America." According to an article in last week's Wallstreet Journal, "Sotheby's has valued the book at about $6.2 million to $9.3 million, making it one of the most expensive books ever sold at auction." The original prints, bound in four volumes, were made from engravings of Mr. Audubon's watercolor paintings which he composed between 1827-1838. Given my recent ornithological reflections, I can't say that I am surprised to learn that the world's most valuable book is devoted to artistic renderings of birds... and I suddenly feel rather fortunate to have found an inexpensive copy of "Birds" in the rare books room of the library sale last spring. Not coincidentally, the pink flamingo is currently on its way to being framed and hung up on my bedside wall.

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