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    Audobon's Snowy Owl. (click to enlarge)

    A new world record for a printed book sold at auction was established at Sotheby’s in London on December 7.  A magnificent, rare, copy of John James Audubon’s Birds of America sold for £7,321,250.
    The 4-volume folio” work had been estimated at £4/£6 million.  It was bought by London dealer Michael Tollemache, who was bidding in the room .   After the sale he described the work as “priceless”.
    In total Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Books, Manuscripts and Drawings from the collection of Frederick, 2nd Lord Hesketh realised £14.9 million. The sale was 99.6 per cent sold by value and 72 per cent of lots exceeded the high  estimate.
    Other benchmarks of the auction included the sale of 40 letters relating to the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots with four letters signed by Queen Elizabeth I for £349,250 and a complete First Folio of William Shakespeare for £1,497,250.

    Audubon's American Flamingo. (click to enlarge)

    The previous record of £5.5 million for a book sold at auction, for a different copy of Audubon’s Birds of America, was established in New York in 2000.

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