Bird book sets new world record at London auction

7th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

A rare copy of John James Audubon's 'Birds of America' set a new world record for a printed book at auction Tuesday, selling for 7.3 million pounds in London, Sotheby's auctioneers said.

The four-volume book was subject to competitive bidding on the phones and in Sotheby's New Bond Street galleries, and sold for 7,321,250 pounds (11,542,683 dollars, 8,647,111 euros), the auction house said in a statement.

Originally estimated to sell for between four and six million pounds, the book was bought by London dealer Michael Tollemache.

After offering the winning bid in the room, he described the book, which contains 435 magnificent hand-coloured etched plates, as "priceless".

It was sold during an auction of books, manuscripts and drawings from the collection of Frederick, the 2nd Lord Hesketh. Also on sale is a first folio by William Shakespeare.

The previous world record for any printed book sold at auction was 5,565,110 pounds, or 8,802,500 dollars, for a different copy of Audubon's 'Birds of America' sold in New York in March 2000.

© 2010 AFP

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