7 Of The Most Expensive Books Ever Sold

AAA

Most Expensive Books

Even in a world where tablet computers and smart phones are taking the place of books, most households still have enough books to fill a bookshelf or two. Mom's old cookbook, Grandpa's old Bible or even a favorite childhood book may still be cherished family memories. Even in a world where books are losing popularity, to collectors, they're still fetching big dollars. Here's a list of the most expensive books sold.

Traité Des Arbres Fruitiers

The "Treatise on Fruit Trees" is a five volume set written in 1750. It contains illustrations and descriptions of sixteen different varieties of fruit trees. With a 2006 purchase price of $4.5 million, it has the distinction of being the most expensive book about fruit trees ever sold.

The Gutenberg Bible

There are 48 Gutenberg Bibles left of the original 180 believed to have been produced. They were printed in 1456 and were the first books produced with moveable type. A copy sold in 1987 for $4.9 million at Christie's New York.

First Folio

This book, a collection of William Shakespeare's plays, was published after his death in 1623. Seven hundred and fifty copies were published, but only 228 survived. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen purchased a copy for around $6.1 million in 2001.

The Canterbury Tales

There are only 12 known first edition copies left since its publishing in 1477, and only one is in a private collection. The book was originally purchased in 1776 and not sold again until 1998 with a purchase price of $7.5 million by Christie's of London.

Birds Of America

This three and a half foot tall book depicts 400 life size North American bird species known to the Audubon Society in the 19th century. Only 200 complete first editions were produced, and 120 exist today. In 2010, one was sold for $11.5 million, but a 2012 copy sold for only $7.9 million.

The Gospels Of Henry The Lion

Commissioned by Henry the Lion for the alter of the Virgin Mary at Brunswick Cathedral, the German government purchased this 266 page book in 1983 for $11.7 million.

The Codex Leicester

Da Vinci wasn't only an artist, but also a scientist. This 72 page notebook is a handwritten journal chronicling his thoughts on everything from fossils to what makes the moon glow. Microsoft founder Bill Gates purchased the book for $30.8 million and had it scanned to use as a screensaver for Windows 95.

Conclusion

These books not only have important historical value, but they are worth a lot of money today as well. Many have sold at auction for record prices and they continue to go up in value. From the Gutenberg Bible, which marks the first use of moveable type, to the Codex Leicester, which was purchased by Bill Gates, these books have earned their places in history.

Related Articles
  1. Markets

    Book Value: How Reliable Is It For Investors?

    In theory, a low P/B ratio means you have a cushion against poor performance. In practice, it is much less certain.
  2. Investing

    The Difference Between Book and Market Value

    Book value is the price paid for an asset. It never changes as long as the asset is owned. Market value is the current price at which the asset can sell.
  3. Investing

    What's Recorded in a Cash Book?

    A cash book is an accounting book that records all cash receipts and cash payments before they’re recorded in a business’s general ledger.
  4. Markets

    Market Value Versus Book Value

    Understanding the difference between book value and market value is a simple yet fundamentally critical component to analyze a company for investment.
  5. Personal Finance

    Just the Right Book Review: Is It Worth It?

    Take an in-depth look at Just the Right Book, a subscription service that delivers personalized book selections based on your reading history and preferences.
  6. Retirement

    Investing Books It Pays To Read

    We provide some classic and lesser-known titles to add to your collection.
  7. Personal Finance

    6 Books for Rental Property Investors

    We'll look at six books that can help make you a better rental property investor.
  8. Trading

    Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

    The P/B ratio can be an easy way to determine a company's value, but it isn't magic!
  9. Trading

    10 Books Every Investor Should Read

    Want advice from some of the most successful investors of all time? Check out our reading list.
  10. Entrepreneurship & Small Business

    Best Books For Entrepeneurs

    Entrepreneurs wear many hats. Here are books that will help you find and manage talent, provide ultimate customer service, drive up sales, and much more.
Hot Definitions
  1. Bond Ladder

    A portfolio of fixed-income securities in which each security has a significantly different maturity date. The purpose of ...
  2. Duration

    A measure of the sensitivity of the price (the value of principal) of a fixed-income investment to a change in interest rates. ...
  3. Dove

    An economic policy advisor who promotes monetary policies that involve the maintenance of low interest rates, believing that ...
  4. Cyclical Stock

    An equity security whose price is affected by ups and downs in the overall economy. Cyclical stocks typically relate to companies ...
  5. Front Running

    The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on information from the analyst department before his or her clients ...
  6. After-Hours Trading - AHT

    Trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The increasing popularity of electronic communication networks ...
Trading Center