10 Most Expensive Books In The World

By Florence Gaitho on March 22 2014

The 10 Most Expensive Books in the World

If you are an ardent reader, you have probably at one point wondered which book is the most expensive of them all. Well, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the most expensive books are unsurprisingly rare. The following is a list of the top 10 most expensive books in the world:- 

The Codex Leicester ($30.8 Million)

The Codex Leicester is basically a collection of largely scientific writings that were authored by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1500s. Of all scientific journals (30 in total) written by Leonardo, the Codex is the most famous of them all. Bill Gates purchased the book at Christie’s auction on November 11, 1994 for a price of $30,802,500 U.S. dollars.

Magna Carta ($21.3 Million)

This is a document that was written in the year 1215, and it is believed to be the first document ever, forced onto a King of England in an attempt to limit his powers by law. The document was originally written in Latin, and it was neither numbered nor divided into separate clauses or paragraphs. Magna Carta was sold in 2007 at a price of $21.3 million.

St Cuthbert Gospel ($14.3 Million)

This is the third most expensive book on the list. It was authored in the 7th century. It was sold on April 2012 at a price of $14.3 million.

Bay Psalm Book ($14.2 Million)

This is a book that was authored in 1640. It was the first book ever to be printed in the United States. It was sold on November 2013 at a price of $14.2 million.

Rothschild Prayerbook ($13.4 Million)

Rothschild Prayerbook, also known as Rothschild Hours is also among the most expensive books to be ever sold. It was sold on July 1999 at a price of $13.4 million.

The Gospels of Henry the Lion ($12.4 Million)

This is a 266-page manuscript that was authored during the 12th century (between 1175 and 1188). It was purchased by a German national group in 1983 at a Sotheby’s auction for about $12.4 million.

The Birds of America ($11.5 Million)

This is a series of life sized paintings on a variety of birds, and it is often considered to be the greatest picture book ever made. It was first published in the beginning of the 19th century by John James Audubon, a renowned painter and naturalist. An original print copy of the book was sold in 2010 for $11.5 million, which made it the most costly printed book ever sold.

The Canterbury Tales ($7 Million)

This is a book consisting of a collection of short stories that gives an insight of the church and the English society during the 14th century. It was written by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the fourteenth century.

First Folio: Comedies, Histories and Tragedies ($6 Million)

This is basically a collection of almost all renowned plays that were written by Shakespeare. It is the only dependable source available that includes twenty of the great writer’s plays. The book was published in 1623, a few years after Shakespeare passed away. A copy of the book was sold for just over $6 million at auction in New York in 2001.

The Northumberland Bestiary ($5.85 Million)

This is an English manuscript that consists of a collection of ink drawings of both imaginary and real animals, depicting moral stories and proverbs. It was published in the 13th century, and was bought in 1990 by a private collector for $5.85 million.

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Florence Gaitho is a Kenyan Citizen and saying that she likes writing would be an understatement. She is a passionate writer and writing has always been her first love. Florence studied at Mount Kenya University, where she attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She has been a professional web content/blog/article writer since 2011, and has written articles on diverse fields. 

"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

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