Top 10 Most Expensive Books Ever Sold

This is a list of books which are purchased by paying highest prices in the history. If you are a true book lover and have that amount of money to spend on these most valuable rare books in existence, then you should consider adding some of these to your own personal library.

10. Georgaphia Cosmographia by Claudius Ptolemy

$3.5 Million (2006)

This book was published in 1462. Also known as Geography or Geographike Hyphegesis, this book is among the most famous books on geography and cartography of the earth. Before the discovery of New World, this book was standard reference for on this topic.

9. Treatise on Fruit Trees by Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau

$4.5 Million (2006)

Published in 1768, this is a five volume set, illustrating beautifully sixteen different species of fruit trees. Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau was French botanist who also served as president of French Academy of Sciences.

8. The Gutenberg Bible

$4.9 Million (1987)

Published in 1450–1455, this book is the first book in the world which was produced on a printing press and with movable type. Currently there are 48 known copies of the first edition of the Gutenberg Bible in existence.

7. Les Liliacées by Pierre-Joseph Redouté

$5 Million (1985)

Published in 1802, this book contains wonderful illustrations of flowers of the lily family. Belgian-born Redouté was professional painter. He also published a book on the Rose family.

6. First Folio by William Shakespeare

$6.16 Million (2001)

Published in 1623, this book is well known all over the world. It contains 36 plays of Shakespeare. Original price of this book at that time was only £1. 228 copies of First Folio are still in existence.

5. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

$7.5 Million (1998)

This book was published in 1478. There are 83 known versions of the Canterbury Tales in existence. Although it was published in 1478, it was written much earlier in the 1370s or 1380s.

4. The Birds of America by John James Audubon

$11.5 Million (2010)

This work is considered as the true masterpiece on the ornithology of America. Audubon wanted to paint all species of American birds in their life size scale. About 120 original copies of this great book are still present in the world.

3. The Gospels of Henry the Lion by the Order of St. Benedict

$11.7 Million (1983)

Published in 1175, this book was on number one in the list of most expensive books ever sold until 1994. This rare book was sold in auction at Sotheby’s. The book has 266 pages with about 50 full-page beautiful illustrations.

2. The St. Cuthbert Gospel

$14 Million (2012)

Published in the 7th century, this rare piece is written in Latin language. The pages of this book are available for everybody because these are online. It is on display at the British Library.

1.  Codex Leicester by Leonardo Da Vinci

$30.8 Million (1994)

Published in the 1500s, this is the most expensive book ever sold in history. Interestingly, the owner of this book is the richest man in the world i.e. Bill Gates. He took many images from the book to use as screensavers for Microsoft and also loans out the book to cities across the world for exhibitions.


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