Books are only worth what people are willing to spend on them. And that is a hefty price tag! Many of the world’s most expensive books are rare and often go for millions at auction. Here are some of the most expensive books sold at auction.
1. United States Constitution
The first draft of the United States Constitution that American legislators used during their discussions in 1787 sold for $43.2 million at auction in July 2012. The Committee of Style used the document to create the final draft of the United States Constitution. It is one of only 20 copies written in Francis Hopkinson’s handwriting. It was one of only three frontiersmen involved with creating the constitution who signed it as a Pennsylvania delegate to Congress.
2. Book of Mormon
The earliest known copy of the Book of Mormon, a religious text published by Joseph Smith in 1830, sold at auction in December 2011 for just over $35 million. The book was purchased by the Community of Christ, an American-based church with about 250,000 members that claims to be a modern-day continuation of Smith’s original church.
3. Codex Leicester
The Codex Leicester is a 10th century manuscript with one of the earliest known illustrations of Christ, produced by a Frenchman named Geoffroi. The Codex Leicester was written and illustrated by monks in Britain and Europe during the middle ages and was held at the British Library. The Codex Leicester, originally held by England’s late King Richard III and once owned by Queen Elizabeth I, was auctioned for $30.80 million in May 2012.
4. Magna Carta
The Magna Carta, a historic document containing a list of basic rights for the English people, was sold for $21.32 million in 2007. The Magna Carta, which is Latin for “Great Charter,” is widely considered the basis of modern-day constitutions and a symbol of individual rights.
5. Sherborne Missal
A 12th-century book of religious texts called a hymnal, produced in Sherborne Abbey near London, sold for about $21.21million at auction in November 2010. The book is written in Latin and contains some of the earliest known music notes in Western Europe. It was sold to an anonymous buyer from the United States.
In conclusion, books are extremely valuable and hold a hefty history. Book sales are increasing in popularity, and auctions are the way to go. Rare and precious books are a must-have for any book collector willing to spend the money.