Today, at 7pm New York time, the most expensive book ever will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s. The 1640 text is a rare translation of biblical Psalms, the Bay Psalm Book. It’s the first English language book ever printed in North America and is expected to fetch between $15-$30 million. From an initial printing of 1,700, there are eleven surviving copies.
The two previous sales of the the Bay Psalm Book were the most expensive book sale at the time. In 1879, when rail magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt paid $1,200 for a copy and broke records for book auctions in the US. Then in 1947, book collector Abraham Rosenbach bought the last copy of the Bay Psalm book sold for $151,000 on behalf of Yale University....MORE