Bay Psalm Book, first book printed in US, sells for record $14.2m. at auction

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
November 27, 2013 03:46

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 printed book.

The book was meant to be a faithful translation into English of the original Hebrew psalms, the BBC reported.

Although 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 were printed.

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.


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