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November 27, 2013

It's no coincidence.

The  most expensive book ever sold also happens to be the first book ever printed in the United States.

A book of psalms, printed in 1640, sold at auction for nearly $14.2 million!

Now, I don't know what comes to your mind upon hearing the news, but my first thought was...
Who has that kind of money?

It's called the Bay Psalms Book and sold at Sotherby's for a discounted price (was expected to fetch up to $20 million).

The book was owned by Boston's Old South Church where Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams were members nearly a generation after the book was printed.

The church plans to roll the profits into various ministries.

First Book Printed in US Sells for $14.2M at Auction

By ULA ILNYTZKY / ABC News

A tiny book of psalms from 1640, believed to be the first book printed in what's now the United States, sold for just under $14.2 million on Tuesday, setting an auction record for a printed book.

The Bay Psalm Book, which was auctioned at Sotheby's in Manhattan, had a pre-sale estimate of $15 million to $30 million. A copy of John James Audubon's "Birds of America" was the previous record-holder, selling for $11.5 million at Sotheby's in 2010.

Only 11 copies of the Bay Psalm Book survive in varying degrees of completeness. The book sold at Sotheby's was one of two owned by Boston's Old South Church, which voted to sell it to increase its grants and ministries. Samuel Adams was a member and Benjamin Franklin was baptized at the church, which was established in 1669.

"This is enormous for us," said the Rev. Nancy Taylor, senior minister of the church. "It is life-changing for the ministries we can do."

The book was bought over the phone by American businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein, who plans to lend it to libraries around the country. The sale price included the buyer's premium.
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