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TOP 14 MOST EXPENSIVE BOOKS IN THE WORLD

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This is a small manuscript with only 72 pages. Its value is easy to understand - it is a record of Leonardo Da Vinci, which he made in 1506-1510. in Milan. The author himself called this work “A Treatise on Water, Earth, and Celestial Bodies,” but he was given the name “Leversky” by the name of the count family, who bought it and kept it for a long time.

The code is written using the technique of “mirror writing”, it can only be read using a reflective surface. In his notes, the genius talked about natural phenomena, described experiments, observations and research. Entries are accompanied by copyright drawings, diagrams, diagrams and drawings. Each chapter of the book begins with an appeal to the descendants of the author, where he calls to protect the world, which is a single organism.

In 1994, the manuscript was purchased by Bill Gates for $ 3,080,200, which at today's rate is $ 44.6 million. Gates is the custodian of the manuscript and provides it for exhibitions around the world.

2nd place. Northumberland Bestiary

The medieval handwritten encyclopedia in Latin, which depicts real and mystical animals with a description of each of them: a total of 112 images on 72 sheets. There are less than fifty such encyclopedias in the world, and each deserves special attention.

The encyclopedia was supposedly written in the 13th century, and from the 16th century belonged to the family of the Earls of Northumberland - from their surname the name was fixed. The bestiary fell into the hands of researchers only in 1950 and immediately became widely known. In 1990, this copy first went to auction and until 2007 was the only one remaining in private hands.

In 2007, the Getty Museum bought the Bestiary for $ 20,000,000.

3rd place. Gospel of saint cuthbert

This is a well-preserved early example of the creation of binding books, which appeared in the 13th century, and at the same time the oldest European book.

A handwritten copy of the text of the Gospel of John has a wooden binding that is not affected by the effects of the atmosphere. This pocket edition was buried with St. Cuthbert in about 698, and was discovered in 1104, after which it became the property of the English Jesuit school.

The British library first leased the publication, and in 2012 bought at auction for $ 14.3 million.

4th place. Psalms of the bay

The first book published in the United States. This edition of the Bible book Psalm was printed by the first Christian settlers in 1640 with a circulation of 1,700 copies, but only 11 have survived to this day.

The title of the book is due to the fact that it was published by the pilgrims who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. Most of the surviving copies are stored in large libraries, for example, in the library of Harvard University.

One publication was bought by businessman David Rubinstein at Sotheby’s auction in 2013. It cost him $ 1,416,000.

5th place. Rothschild Prayer Book

The surname Rothschild is associated with luxury, and this collection of prayers and psalms is no exception. This manuscript is a masterpiece of late medieval art. For 15 years, from 1490 to 1505, the best artists of the era worked on it. 254 pages of the publication are richly decorated with drawings on biblical themes. For a long time, the prayer book belonged to the Rothschild family, and in 1938 the Nazis confiscated it.

In 1998, an Austrian businessman bought the publication at Christie's auction for $ 13.4 million and deposited it with the Austrian National Library.

6th place. The Gospel of Heinrich Leo

This edition was ordered by the Duke of Saxony Heinrich Leo for the altar of the Virgin Mary in the Braunschweig Cathedral in the 12th century. The text of the Gospel covers 266 pages and includes 50 illustrations depicting scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.

The creation of this masterpiece was done by Benedictine monks, known for the art of decorating books. The parchment pages of the publication are so fragile that it is displayed only once a year for a period of not more than 6 weeks.

In 1983, this manuscript was sold at Sotheby’s auction for $ 11.7 million, which made it the most expensive book in the world for a long time. Funds for the purchase were allocated by the governments of Germany, Bavaria and Lower Saxony, as well as a cultural fund.

7th place. Birds of america

This huge bird album was created by naturalist John James Odubon. The full edition includes 435 illustrations, with the birds depicted in real size. The naturalist took 12 years to create this book. In total, about 119 copies were issued, less than 10 of which are held by private individuals.

Each image was painted by hand, it took about 2.5 days to work. At the moment, only 119 prints have been preserved. Especially valuable are specimens depicting extinct birds.

In 2010, the most expensive copy of this book was sold at an auction in London. Its cost is $ 11.5 million.

8th place. The Canterbury Tales

The book is authored by Jeffrey Chaucer and was written in the late 14th century. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his stories not in Latin, as was customary in those days, but in English, so the Canterbury Tales is considered the main (and one of the first) work of English literature.

The book was printed in 1477. To date, only 12 copies have been preserved, of which only one is in a private collection. This publication has its own rich history - for example, at the Christie's auction it was exhibited twice.

The book was last auctioned in 1998, and it cost $ 7,500,000.

9th place. Shakespeare's First Tome

The first edition of Shakespeare's collection of works was printed from genuine texts and released in 1623 by two representatives of his troupe. The collection includes almost all the works of the playwright, with the exception of two. Only 40 such books have survived to our days, which makes the publication desirable for any collector. In private hands there are only 2 such copies.

At the time of publication, a copy could be bought for only 1 pound, and in 2001 at the Christie's auction, one collection was sold for $ 6166,000.

10th place. Gutenberg Bible

This copy of scripture was printed using movable letters by Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the first practical printing method. This is a 42-line version (there is also a 36-line format). Gutenberg wanted to make the Bible accessible to ordinary people, so he invented a printing method that was faster and cheaper than handwriting.

In 1455, the first printed Bible was completed. A total of 180 copies were issued, each consisting of two volumes. 48 copies have survived to our time, of which only 21 have both volumes.

In 1987, Christie sold the first volume of one of these Bibles at auction. Its cost was $ 5,400,000.

As can be seen from the rating presented in the article, the most expensive books are mostly ancient religious or scientific publications. Each of them has an interesting history, many are real works of art.

No. 6. Bestiary of the Duke of Northumberland - 5,400,000

This manuscript and very expensive book has been preserved since the 13th century, representing a set of ink drawings of real and fantastic animals depicting moral stories and sayings.

In 2001, co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen purchased a copy for $ 6 million.

The most expensive books in the world

We will leave the priceless treasure “for dessert”, and now we will talk about the unique print and manuscripts that have survived to this day. Many of them were released several centuries ago and are preserved in only a few copies.

The nine most expensive books are listed in the table.

rublesLast sale date, year Rothschild Prayer BookThe beginning of the XVI13.4 million / 873.144 million1999 The Gospel of Heinrich Leo118812.4 million / 807.984 million1983 John James AudubonBirds of america1827–183811.5 million / 749.340 million2010 Jeffrey ChaucerThe Canterbury Tales147711.1 million / 725.276 million1998 William ShakespeareFirst folio: comedies, chronicles and tragedies,16235.2 million / 338.832 million2006 Bible of Johannes Gutenberg14564.9 million / 319.284 million1987 Henri Louis Duhamel du MonceauA treatise on fruit trees17684.5 million / 293.220 million2006 Claudius PtolemyGeography (Cosmography)14773.99 million / 259.988 million2006 Jewish bibleIX – X3.18 million / 207.208 million1989

Most of these publications can be seen in museums around the world, some are kept in private collections.

Myths about famous books

It is believed that the Bible of Johannes Guttenberg is the first printed publication, but this is not so. In fact, the first book, published in 868 in China by the master Wang Chi (Wang Jie), was the book Vajrachchhedika Prajna Paramita, known in Europe as the Diamond Sutra.

Scientists still have not reached a consensus: William Shakespeare himself wrote his plays or in collaboration with someone. Some of the Shakespeare scholars even put forward hypotheses about the falsification of the First Folio, since the texts of separately published plays differ from the same plays printed in the folio.

According to Alexei Bartoshevich, a Russian specialist in Shakespeare’s creativity, the plays often went on the so-called “sailor lists”, since sailors, along with the townspeople, were the most numerous spectators of the Globus Theater. Therefore, there are so many differences in texts from different publications.

Interesting Facts

The creator of the first printed Bible, Johannes Guttenberg, struggled with debt all his life after taking money from Johann Fust to open the first printing house. The Bible he published contains the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament, translated by St. Jerome from 380 AD.

Jeffrey Chaucer's first appearance on the Canterbury Tales book began in 1776, when it was sold at Christie's for only 6 pounds. Over time, the value of the folio grew to 11.1 million dollars (718,170,000 rubles). So collectors who invest in rare publications are right.

The Canterbury Tales were banned in the United States under the Comstock Act in 1873 as "depraved, obscene, and lascivious." Even today, in stores you can often find an abridged version of the book.

The real rarity - "Geography" of Ptolemy - was nearly burned out in a fire that happened in 2004 in the country house of the owner of the book, Lord Wardington, but was saved by his relatives and neighbors.

The most expensive book of the XXI century

"The Tales of Bard Bead" by Joan Rowling aroused great interest after the release of the last Harry Potter movie. Only seven handwritten copies were issued, in a beautiful, antique cover. The writer handed out six of them to friends, and the seventh copy was put up for auction at Sotheby's and sold for $ 3.98 million.

Notebook Leonardo: out of competition

The top line in all the top 10 most expensive books in the world is rightfully occupied by the Leicester Codex. This is a 72-page manuscript of the great Leonardo da Vinci, created in Milan in 1506-1510. The author called it A Treatise on Water, Earth, and Heavenly Bodies. Leonardo kept notes in his signature mirror handwriting, making observations about the world around him in a notebook. You can read the notes only with the help of a mirror, as the text is written from right to left, and the letters are turned in the opposite direction.

Finding himself in the possession of the first Earl of Leicester in 1719, the notebook received a new name in his honor. The next owner of the invaluable Code in 1980 was the industrialist and collector Armand Hammer, who paid $ 5.1 million (almost 330 million rubles) for it, and therefore the manuscript was called the “Hammer Code” (but not for long). And finally, on November 11, 1994, at the Christie's auction, the notebook was acquired by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. In terms of March 16, 2019 adjusted for inflation, the value of the treasure is 52,499,526.3 US dollars (3.4 billion rubles).

The billionaire made it a rule to exhibit his acquisition once a year in museums around the world. For this page, the notebooks were separated from each other and placed between the glass panels. It is worth noting that the manuscript is not shown for free, so it brings income to its owner. All pages of the manuscript were scanned and converted into electronic form, after which they began to be used as screensavers and desktop wallpapers in early versions of the Windows operating system.

Most Valuable Forbidden Books

Depending on the epoch, religious views, or political views of society, books were persecuted, banned, or barbarously destroyed. They are called "damned", but collectors dream of touching these unique tomes. Most often this cannot be done, as the owners hide them from prying eyes.

The oldest of them is the Book of Thoth. A source of magical knowledge, she described how to gain power over the worlds and take possession of celestial bodies, how to raise the dead and control people from a distance.

The most mysterious book is the stanza of Jiang's manuscript. It was believed that the knowledge described in it was brought to Earth by aliens from the planet Venus.

Apocrypha was also banned - stories on biblical motives that were not included in the Bible. These include the gospels of the disciples of Jesus Christ, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. The Secret Book of John, for reading which was sent to the stake, describes what Jesus told John during the Last Supper.

The Voynich manuscript has been considered the mystery of mankind for five centuries. No one was able to fully decrypt his texts, although a good attempt was made to open the cipher using artificial intelligence. I managed to read only 72 words!

The book is written in an unknown language and contains images of unknown plants and animals. Many scholars believe that the mysterious book is just a hoax, a fake.

The most expensive banned books

Books that do not meet society’s requirements have often been banned. Surprisingly, even the harmless “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll was banned in China in 1931, because the animals and people in it spoke the same language, and it was against the law to equalize them.

As mentioned earlier, the Canterbury Tales has been banned due to obscene content. For the same reasons, “Goodbye Arms!” Ernest Hemingway, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, and Jerome Salinger's “Over the Catcher in the Rye” were withdrawn from the sale.

For moral reasons, Gustave Flaubert’s magnificent novel Madame Bovary was also considered obscene. Another work by Hemingway, “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” was illegal in Spain during the reign of dictator Franco, but for political reasons, for the propaganda of communist and republican ideas.

Due to the frequent use of the offensive and politically incorrect word "niger", one tie of the best American novels "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain was banned. The great Agatha Christie, who was also accused of racism, also got: her famous detective novel “Ten Little Indians” was renamed to “And There Was No One”.

What affects the cost of the book

The cost of the book is influenced by various factors, including:

  1. Rarity. The smaller the circulation, the higher the value.
  2. Condition. Due to poor preservation, the book may lose 90% of the cost, even regardless of its rarity.
  3. Illustration. If they are made by a famous artist, this will significantly increase the price.
  4. Binding. Its value can often exceed the value of the book itself. You must keep the original cover - so the book will be more expensive. Also bindings of ancient editions can be made using precious metals and stones - an important criterion of value.
  5. Autographs of the author, dedicatory inscriptions, bookplates also affect the cost.
  6. Owner. If the book belonged to a famous person - the value automatically increases.

Any neophyte will succeed in collecting rare editions if he takes into account all of the above factors.

The most expensive books published in Russia

There are pearls on the Russian market of antique books. Their value is measured not in millions of dollars, but in millions of rubles, but this does not detract from their literary value.

  1. Russian folk pictures. Collected and described by D. A. Rovinsky. In 5 books. 1881. The cost of 11 million rubles.
  2. Pushkin A.S. Eugene Onegin. A novel in poetry. 1829. The cost of 8.62 million rubles.
  3. Solntsev F. G. Antiquities of the Russian state, published by the Highest Command. Published in 1849–1853 The cost of 7 million rubles.
  4. The general arm of the noble clans of the All-Russian Empire. 1803-1840. The cost of 6 million rubles.
  5. Chulkov M. D.A historical description of Russian commerce at all ports and borders ... / Composed by Mikhail Chulkov. 1781-1788. The cost of 5.94 million rubles.
  6. The gospel is narrow font. Around 1553–1554. The cost of 5.5 million rubles.
  7. Pushkin A.S. Ruslan and Lyudmila. 1820. The cost of 5.12 million rubles.

Bibliophiles, who felt the excitement of collecting, literally hunt for rare books and are often willing to pay big money for them.

Books seized from libraries

In Soviet times, Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya initiated a ban on a wide variety of books. Even children's tales, for example, “Crocodile” by Korney Chukovsky, were among them. The opinion of Nadezhda Konstantinovna is as follows: “I think that our children do not need to give a“ Crocodile ”, not because it is a fairy tale, but because it is bourgeois muddy.” She took care that young minds were not obscured by harmful ideas. A complete list of books to be removed from libraries and bookstores came out in 1961.

The most expensive children's books

It is nice to know that in the XXI century. Not only Joan Rowling's books are appreciated, but also children's publications of domestic authors. Such books are of collection value. If desired, you can buy them to replenish your own library.

  1. Mandelstam O. Primus. Children's poems, Balls. 1926. The cost of each publication is 1.5 million rubles.
  2. Mayakovsky V. What is good and what is bad? 1925. The cost of 350 thousand rubles.
  3. Adventures of Chuch-lo. Lithographs and text by V.V. Lebedev. 1922. The cost of 250 thousand rubles.
  4. This book is about 4 colors. Text N. Sakonskaya. 1930. The cost of 40 thousand rubles.
  5. Zoshchenko M. Smart animals. 1939. The cost of 35 thousand rubles.

If the grandfather’s library inherited, it’s worth checking to see if there is at least one of the children's books listed in it.

Tips for book collectors

Collecting books is now gradually fading into the background, so truly rare copies can be found and purchased on the Internet. However, amateur bibliophiles continue to maintain and replenish their collections of tomes. Novice collectors should heed the advice of experienced second-hand book dealers.

  1. Allocate space for the future library, provide appropriate storage conditions.
  2. Define the purpose of collecting. Will it be an investment for resale or for personal pleasure.
  3. Decide which books will be of interest: choose a search category. Will it be a collection of works by one author or, for example, a collection of miniature books. You can collect by genre, theme, degree of bibliographic rarity of the publication, or whatever you like book lover.
  4. It is worth talking with specialists in the selected field so as not to overpay the excess or run into a fake. It will be useful to join the club of bibliophiles.
  5. It should be remembered that the state of the book and binding affects its value.
  6. It is important to consider that the auction and real value of the book can differ significantly. To be aware of all the fashion trends in the antique book market, you need to constantly attend auctions, become a regular on sites selling rare books. In the age of high technology, when almost any book can be read electronically, connoisseurs who like to touch it, inhale the smell of decades, and maybe centuries, get acquainted with it de vis (Latin de visu - “firsthand”, “with my own eyes ") Is getting smaller.

A book is not just pages, it is a story, an era, the great value of all mankind. Rare collection editions are the subject of desire not only of the richest people, but also simply enthusiastic collectors. In the digital world, preserved tomes are becoming increasingly important. And museum visitors will not stop lining up in long lines to personally see the creations of great masters.

Write in the comments which book you read last and whether you liked it.

Top 10 most expensive books in the world

Today, books come to us very easily. It is not necessary to acquire an interesting novel in a beautiful binding and enjoy the history of the author in a cozy atmosphere. You can do the same, but with a tablet in hand. True, not everyone is ready to exchange paper for iron. In this list you will get acquainted with the most expensive books in the world.

The First Book of Urizen, William Blake

First released in 1794, The First Book of Urizen is considered the main asset of Blake’s poetic and mythological works. Of the eight known surviving copies, only one has been sold. Bought a book by a private collector in New York at the Sotheby's auction in 1999 for $ 2.5 million.

"Tales of the Bard Beadle," J.K. Rowling

After writing the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rowling decided to say goodbye to the series about the wizard boy. The famous writer released a collection of fairy tales in seven copies, each of which was written and illustrated personally by the author. Replicas are bound in leather and adorned with silver with semiprecious stones.

However, only one copy was put up for sale, which was bought for $ 3.8 million at the Sotheby's auction in 2007 by London art dealers. The proceeds from the sales went to a fund for helping children from Europe. The remaining 6 copies of Rowling gave the actor Daniel Radcliffe, his agent and other relatives.

“Geography (Cosmography)”, Claudius Ptolemy

The most important work on the geography of Claudius Ptolemy is the “Guide to Geography”, created back in 150 BC. e. In 1477 this work was printed in Italian Bologna. It is the first printed atlas with engraved illustrations. Sold in London in 2006 at the Sotheby's auction for $ 3.9 million.

The First Folio, William Shakespeare

When this collection of authentic Shakespeare texts was printed, it could be bought for about $ 1.29. But today, pristine copies (about 230 copies have been preserved) have one of the highest prices among book collectors. In 2001, co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen bought such a copy for $ 6.1 million.

Canterbury Tales by Jeffrey Chaucer

Chaucer's famous short stories were first published in 1477 at William Caxton's first English printing press. In 1776, William Fitzwilliam bought one of the first copies for 6 pounds. Whereas in 1998 at an auction in London the oldest printed copy was sold for $ 7.5 million.

Birds of America, John Audubon

Birds of America is a four-volume album book containing bird illustrations from North America.

In 2000, one copy of it was sold (119 books are known to exist) for $ 8.8 million, and 10 years later another complete publication went under the hammer, but for $ 11.5 million.

Interestingly, the book is 127 cm high, the birds in it are drawn in full size, and also manually painted.

"The Gospel of Heinrich Leo"

This work was commissioned by Heinrich Leo, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria in 1188, for the altar of the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral of Braunschweig.

In 1983, at the Sotheby's auction, it was bought out by the German government for $ 11.7 million. The "Gospel of Henry the Lion" consists of 226 pages, including 50 pages with images.

For a long time, the manuscript was considered lost. Currently, it is stored in the library named after Baron Augustus in the town of Wolfenbüttel.

Leicester Codex by Leonardo da Vinci

The Leicester Codex is the famous da Vinci scientific journal written in 1506-1510 in Milan. It consists of 18 sheets written on all sides, which, with certain manipulations, are converted into a 72-page notebook.

You just cannot read these notes, Leonardo wrote his notes in such a way that it is possible to read them only with the help of a mirror. It contains da Vinci's thoughts about nature, for example, why rivers flow, the moon shines, and so on. Also in the notebook you can find various mathematical calculations, diagrams.

In 1994, Microsoft founder Bill Gates bought it at auction for $ 30.8 million. This made the book the most expensive in the history of mankind.

TOP 14 MOST EXPENSIVE BOOKS IN THE WORLD

With the advent of modern technology, people have significantly lost the value of paper publications. Perhaps it’s really convenient to always have on hand a new-fashioned gadget, which contains all the best and favorite works.

However, these booklets remained, the cost of which is growing every year, because they simply can not be replaced! Today, SMEs will tell you just about the most expensive books in the world (prices and photos you can also see on the website) sold at auctions.

To date, only 12 books have survived, and just one of them was sold at Christie’s auction.

Even at the age of 18, the founder of the detective genre was fond of poetry, but in the time of 1827 the writer still had no fans. That is why only 50 copies, filled with rhymed spiritual flows of feelings of the author, went into circulation.

In 1967, the book was discovered in Belgium, and in 1997 it was bought by the British Library.

The Flemish cartographer Gerard Mercator was the first to create a cylindrical projection of the world map, which is still used today. All data, treatises on the creation of the world, 107 maps with geographical descriptions were collected in the Atlas of 1595 - now all this is used to compile marine navigation and air navigation maps.

The book was sold at Sotheby's in New York in 1999.

The artist, poet and engraver, in 1794 released his first book - the most important of a series of prophetic works. It was she who went under the hammer to a private collector for fabulous money.

In 2007, a manuscript book was auctioned.

Even before releasing a new book in circulation, making it a new children's bestseller, Joan Rowling created 7 original hand-written books. Six of them were presented to friends of the writer, and the latter was sold.

Ptolemy's geography was sold at auction in London for 2.14 million pounds.

And this work is the first printed atlas in the world, and at the same time, the world's first illustrated book, created in 1477.

The book was sold in 1990 for $ 4.1 million.

At 10th place in the ranking of the most expensive books in the world is a collection of symphonies written by the composer himself. This unique and one of a kind book contains a set of 9 symphonies and is signed by Mozart.

She went under the hammer in Brussels in 2006 for a lot of money.

Another book on the list of the most expensive books in the world is a manuscript collection of illustrations and illustrations about 16 types of fruit, written by the Frenchman Louis Duhamel du Monceau in 1768.

A copy of the Bible was sold in 1987 for a record then amount of $ 4.9 million.

The first printed book in history, serves as a traditional reference point for the history of book printing in Europe. Released in 1456, it was issued in 180 copies on parchment. To this day, only 21 editions have been preserved in the original. Many argue that this is the most valuable book in history, but it takes only seventh place in the list of the most expensive books in the world.

It was bought at auction by a private collector who wished to remain anonymous.

This manuscript and very expensive book has been preserved since the 13th century, representing a set of ink drawings of real and fantastic animals depicting moral stories and sayings.

In 2001, co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen purchased a copy for $ 6 million.

This book in a single copy was shown to the world a couple of years after the death of the poet in 1623. There are 36 plays on 900 pages. Exactly 228 copies were made of the original, but only 40 have survived to this day.

For comparison, in 1776 the same book was bought by Count Fitzwilliam for only 6 pounds.

The incomplete work of Jeffrey Chaucer, considered the best among the poet, was written in the 14th century. The book consists of 22 poetic and two prosaic short stories, complemented by the beautiful design of each page.

In March 2000, one of the last remaining 120 copies was sold to Sheikh Qatar Saud.

A large beautiful album in 4 volumes about birds of 1827, drawn by American naturalist John James Audubon, is considered the most beautiful book in the world. It is worth noting that the animals are depicted in full size - 435 prints from engravings, which the artist created for 12 years.

The gospel was bought back by the German government at the Sotheby's auction in London in 1983 /

Written by order of Heinrich Leo for the altar of the Virgin Mary in Brunswick Cathedral. Consisting of 266 pages, including 50 illustrations, it is considered a masterpiece among manuscripts of the 12th century.

The holder of the most expensive book in the world became Bill America's richest man in 1994.

A treatise on water, earth and celestial bodies ”, which was personally written by Leonardo da Vinci, collected sketches, drawings of inventions, scientific notes ... This extraordinarily valuable book reflects on the most important life processes, astronomy, geology, science, creativity ...

The most expensive book in the world

Add to our piggy bank THE MOST one more instance:

Yesterday, at the Sotheby’s auction, the most expensive book in the world, the Massachusetts Book of Psalms, went under the hammer. Its cost was $ 14.2 million. The new owner of the book was an American businessman David Rubinstein. He promised to provide the book for temporary use to several large museums, and after that to provide it for a permanent exhibition in one of them.

The Massachusetts Book of Psalms is the first book published in the United States in 1640. The circulation of the publication was 1700 copies. To date, only 11 copies remain, only two of which are in good condition.

The Massachusetts Book of Psalms. (REUTERS / Carlo Allegri)

The Massachusetts Book of Psalms. (REUTERS / Carlo Allegri)

The Massachusetts Book of Psalms. (AP Photo / Sotheby’s, File)

However, there is evidence that the most expensive book is still different.

Everyone knows about such works by the great inventor and artist Leonardo da Vinci, such as Mona Lisa, Vitruvian Man and The Last Supper. But not everyone knows about such a priceless Renaissance monument as a book called the Leicester Codex. This book is recognized as the most expensive book in the world and belongs to Bill Gates.

In 1994, A Treatise on Water, Earth, and Celestial Bodies, as the original title of this book sounded, was bought by the founder of Microsoft for $ 24 million.

Prior to this, the most expensive book belonged to oil tycoon Armand Hammer.

It is also worth noting that many sources mistakenly believe that the most expensive book in the world is the four-volume “Birds of America”, but its cost is half as much - $ 11.5 million.

"A treatise on water, earth and celestial bodies" is a collection of thoughts, conclusions and findings of Leonardo da Vinci in all spheres of life. The book consists of 18 parchment pages bound together, and the text in this book is written in mirror image, that is, you can read the book only with the help of a mirror.

In the book, the great inventor describes his thoughts on the origin and structure of water, air, light and minerals. He also suggests that the World is a living creature: the air is its soul, the earth is its flesh, and the water is blood. The book is decorated with drawings made by Leonardo da Vinci himself, which undoubtedly increases its value many times over.

But other sources have even more different information ... for example, that Gutenberg Bible may cost $ 25-35 million. This is the first book printed in a movable way of printing, which serves as a traditional reference point for the history of book printing in Europe. It was released in 1456.

There were 180 such books in total: Gutenberg printed 180 copies of the Bible, 45 of them on parchment, the rest on Italian paper with watermarks. And although this is not the first incunabula, it stands out among other first-print publications for its exceptional design quality.

To this day, in its entirety, only 21 books have been preserved.

And for example The first edition of Shakespeare's plays is $ 22.6 million. Published in 1623, seven years after the death of Shakespeare, the book contained 36 plays and 900 pages. In total there are 228 copies of the first edition.

Let me remind you a few more mysterious and rare books: for example The mystery of the Veles book. Download the book (trf, 130Kb), but The strangest literary anomaly is the Codex Seraphinianus book. Download the book (pdf, 50Mb) and The most mysterious manuscript in the world. Download Voynich Manuscript (54Mb) The original article is on the site InfoGlaz.rf Link to the article with which this copy was made - http://infoglaz.ru/?p=38373

The most expensive books in the world

Sometimes even the brilliance of diamonds fades in comparison with the cost of rare books.And true connoisseurs of such publications are ready to fight for them to the last, participating in auctions and shelling out decent amounts.

Introducing the TOP 10 most expensive books in the world

Top 10 most expensive antique books in Russia in 2013

Nikolai Podosokorsky (philologist) wrote
2014-01-13 09:00:00 Nikolay Podosokorsky
philologist
2014-01-13 09:00:00 Category:

2013 the year was successful for Russian auction houses that put up for sale antique books. Bukinistic rarities were clearly in high demand among collectors, so the results exceeded the starting prices sometimes dozens of times. According to the official data of the five leading houses regularly holding book auctions - “Antiquarium”, “In Nikitsky”, “Gelos”, “Empire”, “Cabinet” - the rating of the most successful sales was compiled.

1. Russian folk pictures. Collected and described D.A. Rovinsky. In 5 books. Atlas. In 3 volumes, 6 books. SPb .: Expedition of Procurement of Government Securities, 1881

11 000 000 rubles

2. PushkinA.S. Eugene Onegin, a novel in verse. A compilation of Alexander Pushkin. 1829 - 1832

8 640 000 rubles

3. Of the sunsF.G. Antiquities of the Russian statepublished by the High Command. M., 1849-1853

8 500 000 rubles

4. The general arm of the noble families All-Russian Empire. At 10 hours, parts 1-10, a pointer. SPb.: In the Voln type., In the Senate type., 1803-1840

6 000 000 rubles

5. ChulkovM.D. Historical Description of Russian Commerce at all ports and borders ... / Composed by Mikhail Chulkov. 7 vols in 22 books - St. Petersburg: When Imp. Acad. Sciences, 1781-1788.

5 940 000 rubles

6. Narrow font gospel. M .: Anonymous type., 1553/1554.

5 500 000 rubles

7. PushkinA.S. Ruslan and Ludmila. A Poem in Six Songs / Op. A. Pushkin. SPb .: V Type. N. Grech, 1820

5 120 000 rubles

8. PushkinA.S. Bakhchisarai fountain. With 4 engraved paintings / Op. Alexander Pushkin. 2nd ed .. SPb .: V Type. Department of Public Education, 1827

4 800 000 rubles

9. Viscous, A. Historical description of clothing and weapons of the Russian troops, with drawings, drawn up at the highest command. 2nd ed. SPb .: Type. “V.S. Balashev and Co. ”, 1899-1902. (Part 1-19), Novosibirsk, 1944 (Parts 20-29), Lb 1946-1948 (Parts 30-34)

4 200 000 rubles

10. World of Art. No. 1, 1899 - No. 12, 1904. St. Petersburg, 1899-1904

3 600 000 rubles

It is worth noting that in Top-10 there were the highest results of only two auction houses - “Antiquarium” (No. 5) and “In Nikitsky” (No. 1-4, 6-10). For others, the best sales of books did not exceed three and a half million rubles.

Top 10 most expensive books in the world

The largest collection of books today belongs to the Vatican. Some private collections, although inferior in the number of copies, can compete in price of their books with the Vatican. The most expensive library of folios belongs to Bill Gates. What books are considered the most valuable today? Luxlux.net brings to your attention the Top 10 the most expensive books of the world.

The most expensive books: Leonardo da Vinci “Leicester Codex”

Leonardo da Vinci - the first in everything

The Leicester Codex is the most expensive today book in the world . This is the handwritten scientific diary of the great Leonardo da Vinci.

The genius led him from 1506 to 1510, da Vinci wrote down his thoughts in a branded mirror letter. In 1994, the book was acquired by Bill Gates for $ 30.8 million.

Today, the most expensive book in the world travels to museums in different countries, where everyone can look at it.

The most expensive printed book

The most expensive books: John James Audubon “Birds of America”

Closes the top three book by John James Audubon "Birds of America" ​​worth $ 11.5 million.

The most expensive printed book is significant in that all illustrations (namely, images of different breeds of birds) are made in full size.

Today, 119 copies of the book are known to exist, only 11 of which belong to private collections, the rest are kept in museums. The book was first published in the 20s of the XIX century.

Animals of the Middle Ages

The most expensive books: “Duke of Northumberland Bestiary”

Fifth place is taken by the "Duke of Northumberland Bestiary" - a medieval encyclopedia dedicated to the animal kingdom. The book contains more than 100 images of real and mythical creatures. In 1987, the book was sold for $ 5.4 million.

The first edition of the English genius

“First Folio: Comedy, Chronicles, and Tragedy” by William Shakespeare

Seventh place is "The First Folio: Comedy, Chronicles, and Tragedy" by William Shakespeare. The book includes 36 plays of the great poet. It is known that there are 40 complete copies of the first edition. In 2006, the book was sold for $ 5.2 million to a private collector.

Top 10 most expensive books in the world

The Leicester Codex, Leonardo da Vinci (The Codex Leicester, Leonardo da Vinci)

$ 30.8 million, 1994, Christies auction ($ 44.6 million at current prices *). A notebook of notes by Leonardo da Vinci, made by him during his life in Milan in 1506-1510.

The manuscript consists of 18 sheets of paper scribbled on both sides and folded so that together they form a 72-page notebook. Leonardo's notes are written in a special way, with his own “mirror” font - you can read them only with the help of a mirror.

The recordings are devoted to various phenomena, the nature of which Leonardo thought about: why the moon shines, how and why water flows in rivers, where fossils come from, what minerals are made of, and so on. The notebook also contains a large number of mathematical calculations, diagrams and drawings.

The Leicester Codex was named after Count Leicester, who bought the manuscript in 1717.

In 1980, a notebook from Leicester’s heirs was bought by the famous industrialist, collector and friend of the Soviet regime Armand Hammer, in whose honor he was called for a short period the “Codex Hammer”. After his death in 1994, the code was put up for auction, during which it was acquired by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and he periodically displays this picture in museums.

“The Gospel of Heinrich Leo” $ 12.4 million, 1983, sotheby’s auction ($ 26.7 million at current prices). The manuscript includes four Gospels, has 226 pages, decorated in a unique style by the monks and novices of the Benedictine Abbey Helmarshausen.

After the death of Heinrich Leo, the manuscript was long considered lost. In the XIX century, it was discovered in Prague, in 1861 it was acquired by George V, king of Hanover, whose founder is considered to be Henry the Lion. Five years later, George V was overthrown and fled to Austria and, among other things, brought a manuscript with him.

Further, the trace of the relic was again lost, but in 1983 an unknown seller put up the "Gospel of Henry the Lion" at auction at sotheby’s. During the auction, Germany became its owner - the federal government, the governments of Bavaria and Lower Saxony, as well as the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation participated in financing the purchase.

Currently, the manuscript is stored in the library named after the Duke of Augustus in the city of Wolfenbüttel (Germany).

“Birds of America”, John James Audubon (The Birds of America, John James Audubon) $ 8.8 million, 2000, Christies auction ($ 11 million at current prices).

Its first edition was printed in the USA in 1827-1838, during this time only about 200 copies were printed in a giant format, which Audubon himself called "double elephant folio" - each page is 50 inches (127 cm) in height.

The full copy of Birds of America contains 435 hand-painted prints of engravings measuring 90 by 60 cm, in which the birds are depicted in full size.

Currently, 119 complete copies of Birds of America are known to exist, 108 of which are stored in various museums around the world, and only 11 are in private collections. Such books enter the market extremely rarely, and book collectors regard each such case as a sensation.

"The Canterbury Tales," by Jeffrey Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer). $ 7.5 million, 1998, Christies auction ($ 9.9 million at current prices).

A unique copy of the first edition of The Canterbury Tales by Jeffrey Chaucer, the “father of English poetry” and one of the founders of English literature.

The book was printed in 1477 at the printing house of the English first printer William Caxton at Westminster Abbey.

To date, only 12 known copies of the first edition have survived, of which only the book exhibited at Christies is in a private collection. The book has a rich own history: its first appearance at the auction dates back to 1776, when it was sold at Christies. In 1998, the book became the property of a group of London booksellers.

“The Duke of Northumberland Bestiary” (The Northumberland Bestiar) $ 5850000, 1990, sotheby’s auction ($ 9.6 million at current prices).

There are no more than 40 such English bestiaries around the world, and they rarely enter the market. As experts at the sotheby’s house explained in 1990, before this, the bestiary was last auctioned in 1889.

In addition, a copy of the Duke of Northumberland is the last remaining in private hands, and not in the museum's collection.

The Gutenberg Bible (The Gutenberg Bible) $ 5.4 million, 1987, Christies auction ($ 10.2 at current prices). A unique copy of the Bible of the first printer Johannes Gutenberg, the oldest surviving books printed with a set of movable letters.

Namely, its 42-line version in in folio format (there is an even later 36-line version, known as the Bamberg Bible).

The 42-line Bible is known among bibliophiles as the “Mazarini Bible”, named after Cardinal and First Minister of France Giulio Mazarin, in whose papers the first copy of such a Bible was first discovered in 1760.

According to the Gutenberg Museum, a total of about 180 copies of the 42-line Bible were printed in the early 1450s, of which 48 have survived to this day, including 21 - the full one. Sold at Christies in 1987. The Bible is incomplete, it contains only the first volume. The buyer was the Japanese Maruzen Corporation. Currently, this copy is stored in the library of Keio University.

“First Folio: Comedy, Chronicles, and Tragedy,” William Shakespeares First Folio: Comedies, Histories and Tragedies. $ 5.2 million, 2006, sotheby’s auction ($ 5.5 million at current prices).

A copy of the first edition of the plays of William Shakespeare, published in 1623 by John Heming and Henry Condel, members of the Shakespearean troupe.

“First Folio” is a term adopted among bibliophiles for a book, its full name is “Mr. William Shakespeare of Comedy, Chronicle, and Tragedy.” Printed from accurate and authentic texts. ”

The First Folio included 36 Shakespeare's plays, that is, almost all of his plays, with the exception of Pericles and Two Noble Relatives. Only 40 full copies of the first edition have survived to our time, of which only two are in private hands, including those sold at sotheby’s.

“About Fruit Trees,” by Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau (Traité des Arbres Fruitiers, Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau). $ 4.5 million, 2006, auction by Pierre Vegde & Assosios (Brussels) ($ 4.8 million at current prices). A treatise on fruit trees of the French physicist, chemist, agronomist, member of the Academy of Sciences Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782).

Superbly designed two-volume with illustrations by a number of famous artists of that time, depicting 16 species of fruit trees, their fruits, leaves, seeds, fruits. This copy of the book was at one time purchased in the personal library of King Louis XV, for which it was printed in a particularly luxurious form, with a gilded cover.

"Geography" ("Cosmography"), Ptolemy (Ptolemys "Geographia" (aka "Cosmographia"). $ 3.99 million, 2006, sotheby's ($ 4.3 million at current prices). A rare copy of the world's first printed atlas printed in 1477 in Italian Bologna based on maps of the ancient Greek astronomer, mathematician and geographer Claudius Ptolemy 150 BC.

Jewish Bible (Hebrew Bible) $ 3.18 million, 1989, sotheby’s ($ 5.5 million at current prices). The content is almost completely consistent with the Christian Old Testament. This instance was created in Babylon in the 9th-10th centuries AD. e. and is one of the oldest and most expensive Hebrew manuscripts.

Subscribe to our page at the Leicester Codex, Leonardo da Vinci (The Codex Leicester, Leonardo da Vinci)

$ 30.8 million, 1994, Christies auction ($ 44.6 million at current prices *). A notebook of notes by Leonardo da Vinci, made by him during his life in Milan in 1506-1510.

The manuscript consists of 18 sheets of paper scribbled on both sides and folded so that together they form a 72-page notebook. Leonardo's notes are written in a special way, with his own “mirror” font - you can read them only with the help of a mirror.

The recordings are devoted to various phenomena, the nature of which Leonardo thought about: why the moon shines, how and why water flows in rivers, where fossils come from, what minerals are made of, and so on. The notebook also contains a large number of mathematical calculations, diagrams and drawings.

The Leicester Codex was named after Count Leicester, who bought the manuscript in 1717.

In 1980, a notebook from Leicester’s heirs was bought by the famous industrialist, collector and friend of the Soviet regime Armand Hammer, in whose honor he was called for a short period the “Codex Hammer”. After his death in 1994, the code was put up for auction, during which it was acquired by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and he periodically displays this picture in museums.

“The Gospel of Heinrich Leo” $ 12.4 million, 1983, sotheby’s auction ($ 26.7 million at current prices). The manuscript includes four Gospels, has 226 pages, decorated in a unique style by the monks and novices of the Benedictine Abbey Helmarshausen.

After the death of Heinrich Leo, the manuscript was long considered lost. In the XIX century, it was discovered in Prague, in 1861 it was acquired by George V, king of Hanover, whose founder is considered to be Henry the Lion. Five years later, George V was overthrown and fled to Austria and, among other things, brought a manuscript with him.

Further, the trace of the relic was again lost, but in 1983 an unknown seller put up the "Gospel of Henry the Lion" at auction at sotheby’s. During the auction, Germany became its owner - the federal government, the governments of Bavaria and Lower Saxony, as well as the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation participated in financing the purchase.

Currently, the manuscript is stored in the library named after the Duke of Augustus in the city of Wolfenbüttel (Germany).

“Birds of America”, John James Audubon (The Birds of America, John James Audubon) $ 8.8 million, 2000, Christies auction ($ 11 million at current prices).

Its first edition was printed in the USA in 1827-1838, during this time only about 200 copies were printed in a giant format, which Audubon himself called "double elephant folio" - each page is 50 inches (127 cm) in height.

The full copy of Birds of America contains 435 hand-painted prints of engravings measuring 90 by 60 cm, in which the birds are depicted in full size.

Currently, 119 complete copies of Birds of America are known to exist, 108 of which are stored in various museums around the world, and only 11 are in private collections. Such books enter the market extremely rarely, and book collectors regard each such case as a sensation.

"The Canterbury Tales," by Jeffrey Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer). $ 7.5 million, 1998, Christies auction ($ 9.9 million at current prices).

A unique copy of the first edition of The Canterbury Tales by Jeffrey Chaucer, the “father of English poetry” and one of the founders of English literature.

The book was printed in 1477 at the printing house of the English first printer William Caxton at Westminster Abbey.

To date, only 12 known copies of the first edition have survived, of which only the book exhibited at Christies is in a private collection. The book has a rich own history: its first appearance at the auction dates back to 1776, when it was sold at Christies. In 1998, the book became the property of a group of London booksellers.

“The Duke of Northumberland Bestiary” (The Northumberland Bestiar) $ 5850000, 1990, sotheby’s auction ($ 9.6 million at current prices).

There are no more than 40 such English bestiaries around the world, and they rarely enter the market. As experts at the sotheby’s house explained in 1990, before this, the bestiary was last auctioned in 1889.

In addition, a copy of the Duke of Northumberland is the last remaining in private hands, and not in the museum's collection.

The Gutenberg Bible (The Gutenberg Bible) $ 5.4 million, 1987, Christies auction ($ 10.2 at current prices). A unique copy of the Bible of the first printer Johannes Gutenberg, the oldest surviving books printed with a set of movable letters.

Namely, its 42-line version in in folio format (there is an even later 36-line version, known as the Bamberg Bible).

The 42-line Bible is known among bibliophiles as the “Mazarini Bible”, named after Cardinal and First Minister of France Giulio Mazarin, in whose papers the first copy of such a Bible was first discovered in 1760.

According to the Gutenberg Museum, a total of about 180 copies of the 42-line Bible were printed in the early 1450s, of which 48 have survived to this day, including 21 - the full one. Sold at Christies in 1987. The Bible is incomplete, it contains only the first volume. The buyer was the Japanese Maruzen Corporation. Currently, this copy is stored in the library of Keio University.

“First Folio: Comedy, Chronicles, and Tragedy,” William Shakespeares First Folio: Comedies, Histories and Tragedies. $ 5.2 million, 2006, sotheby’s auction ($ 5.5 million at current prices).

A copy of the first edition of the plays of William Shakespeare, published in 1623 by John Heming and Henry Condel, members of the Shakespearean troupe.

“First Folio” is a term adopted among bibliophiles for a book, its full name is “Mr. William Shakespeare of Comedy, Chronicle, and Tragedy.” Printed from accurate and authentic texts. ”

The First Folio included 36 Shakespeare's plays, that is, almost all of his plays, with the exception of Pericles and Two Noble Relatives. Only 40 full copies of the first edition have survived to our time, of which only two are in private hands, including those sold at sotheby’s.

“About Fruit Trees,” by Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau (Traité des Arbres Fruitiers, Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau). $ 4.5 million, 2006, auction by Pierre Vegde & Assosios (Brussels) ($ 4.8 million at current prices). A treatise on fruit trees of the French physicist, chemist, agronomist, member of the Academy of Sciences Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782).

Superbly designed two-volume with illustrations by a number of famous artists of that time, depicting 16 species of fruit trees, their fruits, leaves, seeds, fruits. This copy of the book was at one time purchased in the personal library of King Louis XV, for which it was printed in a particularly luxurious form, with a gilded cover.

"Geography" ("Cosmography"), Ptolemy (Ptolemys "Geographia" (aka "Cosmographia"). $ 3.99 million, 2006, sotheby's ($ 4.3 million at current prices). A rare copy of the world's first printed atlas printed in 1477 in Italian Bologna based on maps of the ancient Greek astronomer, mathematician and geographer Claudius Ptolemy 150 BC.

Jewish Bible (Hebrew Bible) $ 3.18 million, 1989, sotheby’s ($ 5.5 million at current prices). The content is almost completely consistent with the Christian Old Testament. This instance was created in Babylon in the 9th-10th centuries AD. e. and is one of the oldest and most expensive Hebrew manuscripts.

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