NEW YORK - The Bay Psalm Book, one of 11 surviving copies of the first
book printed in America, sold for $14.2 million on Tuesday evening at
Sotheby's in New York, setting a new world auction record for any
The book was meant to be a faithful translation into English of the original Hebrew psalms, the BBC reported.
it had been estimated to fetch up to $30 million, it easily surpassed
the previous mark of $11.5 million, paid in December 2010 for John James
Audubon's Birds of America.
The book was sold to American financier and
philanthropist David Rubenstein, who said he would loan it to libraries
across the US, according to the BBC.
Printed in 1640 in
Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Bay Psalm is one of the rarest books in
the world and among the finest surviving copies of original 1,700 that
It is also the first copy to be sold since 1947 when it set an auction record for a book at $151,000.
Harvard and Yale universities and other institutions own the other existing copies.