World’s Most Expensive Printed Book

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A book of psalms from 1640 has become the world’s most expensive printed book, selling for $14 million at an auction in New York on Tuesday.

Remaining original copy

The translation of Biblical psalms, “The Bay Psalm Book” was printed by Puritan settlers in Cambridge, Massachussetts and sold at a one lot auction by Sotheby’s. It is one of the 11 copies known to remain in existence out of about 1,700 original copies printed.

It is the first known book to be printed in what is today the United States of America.

Bidding started at $6 million and closed quickly with a whopping price of $12.5 million, amounting to $14.5 million once the bidder’s premium is included.

World record

The book was displayed in a glass case behind the auctioneer to a number of interested buyers who attended the auction in person.

Auctioneer and head of Sotheby’s David Redden said The Bay Psalm Book’s $14.165 million worth “represents a new world record for any printed book.”