The most expensive book in the world, Birds of America to be brought under Sotheby’s hammer

After selling Jewels, modern art and letters, Sotheby’s will now bring under the hammer some of the most expensive and rare literary marvels in the world. This list would include a stash of letters written by Elizabeth I to the jailor of Mary Queen of Scots, Shakespeare’s First Folio, and a rare copy of John James Audubon’s Birds of America which sole for as much as $8.8 millions a good 10 years ago.

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An avid collector of books Frederick Fermor-Hesketh, his collection worth $12.30 million to $15.38 million is estimated to be auctioned. Prominent in the lot is a copy of Birds of America valued at £4 million to £6 million bonds on a “double elephant” folio for life-size bird pictures. Only 199 copies of the book exist, with 180 of them owned by museums, libraries, and universities. The copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, another big item on sale, is estimated between $1.54 million and $2.30 million.

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