World’s Most Expensive Books
They say that a picture is better than a thousand words. Maybe this saying can explain why the pictures are more expensive than the most expensive books. However, nothing can give you the right inside look into the author’s mind like the words carefully put together, especially if it is author that wrote them. And if the author is Leonardo da Vinci, even better. Getting into one’s mind for 30 million dollars (which is the price that Bill Gates paid) doesn’t sound too expensive.
There are so many books in the list of the most expensive and best selling books. There are the ones that were sold in auctions, the ones sold outside auctions… Their rank changes by the month.
This is the current list of the ten most expensive books in the world.
The Gutenberg Bible
This is the first ever printed book. It is believed that there are only 180 of them today, and that there are only 21 untouched. One of those is worth from 25 to 35 million dollars. It got its name after the inventor of the printing machine, Johannes Gutenberg, who shared the destiny of a number of mind that weren’t understood in their own time: he died poor and blind in 1468. Gutenberg Bible was in Latin and it was later decorated with miniatures and initials. It was published in 1455, and printed on 1 282 pages, in 200-300 copies.
The Codex Leicester
The book is named after Thomas Cock, the Count of Lester. It has 72 pages and it dates to 1717. In 1994, the owner of Microsoft, Bill Gates has bought it for 30.8 million dollars, which is the highest price paid for a book ever. It contains drawings and Leonardo’s scientific notes on water, rocks, fossils, air and light. It is interesting that Gates has transferred it to a CD.
The First Folio
Here, we have the first edition of Shakespeare’s plays which dates back to 1623. It was prepared by Shakespeare himself and published by his colleagues John Hemings and Henry Condell, seven years after the writer’s death. It contains 36 plays, around 20 of which are Shakespeare’s authentic.
Birds of America
The book of the American ornithologist and painter James Audubon was sold in 2000 for 8.8 million dollars, all of the 120 copies, to a sheik. It was supposed to be on an auction again, together with Shakespeare’s Firs Folio. Audubon’s book, often referred to as “the best picture book of all time”, it might beat the price of 10 million dollars. With one meter in height and with pictures of the birds in natural size it has the status of a national monument.
Traites Des Arbres Fruitiers
The book was published in 1768, as a work of French boranist Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau. It shows in detail, 16 types of fruit, their sorts and also includes illustrations. It was sold in an auction in Brussels for 4.5 million dollars.
Worth 3.9 million dollars, it was written between 90 and 170. The subject is the geocentric concept of the universe (Earth is the center of the world), which Copernicus did approve, but also the field theory, which connects the horoscope and the laws of physics (the four element theory) which is becoming more and more popular.
The Mercator Atlas of Europe
This atlas (evaluated price, 1.3 million dollars) is in the British library. Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594) is a Flemish cartographer that mapped the planet, and all of his maps, including the map if Europe from 1554, are shown in Duisburg, a city that led the cartographic workshop.
Tamerlane and Other Poems
The work of Edgar Allan Poe, who’s short stories are considered the forerunner of detective novels, is the first book that he wrote under the pseudonym “a Bostonian”, when he was only 14 years old. A copy of this rare book was sold in an auction for 662.500 dollars. Poe’s turbulent life (a gambler, an alcoholic) has always attracted readers, and his books have always attracted collectors.
This book presented Superman, the first real superhero to the world. The comic of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster was published in 1938, in 880 copies. The antiquary edition was sold to an anonymous buyer for a million dollars.
Where the Wild Things Are
The book written by Maurice Sendak was a rarity in kids literature, when it was published, because it describes the dark side of their emotions. In that genre, its value is a record – 10.200 dollars.