List #2: Top Ten Book & Manuscript Sales Of 2007

Try not to salivate as we share with you a list of the top book/manuscript/printed ephemera sales of 2007, as collated by the Americana Exchange, which “tracks sales at all of the large, and many other auction houses, some 140+ in all”. Included in this list are books, manuscripts, and related ephemeral items. And all values are in US dollars. 

The Top Ten:

10. Sir Robert Dudley’s great English sea atlas of 1661, Arcano del Mare. $824,000.

9. Large paper first edition from 1857 of Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. $859,198.

8. De Architectura, written by Vitruvius Pollio in the first century B.C., herein edited by Johannes Sulpitius and published circa 1487. $881,000.

7. French translation of The Bestiary, an illustrated vellum manuscript circa 1280-90. $910,490.

6. The working draft manuscript from 1938-39 for Alcoholics Anonymous. $992,000.

5. Edward S. Curtis’ North American Indian Portfolio, sixteen portfolios and sixteen text volumes from the early 20th century. $1,080,000.

4. Christopher Saxton’s An Atlas of England and Wales, published 1579-90. $1,366,654.

3. Vita Christi, an illuminated English vellum manuscript in Latin circa 1190-1200 with a later supplement to become a devotional. $3,470,721.

2. Near the end of the auction season, on December 13, a very un-antiquarian work became the auction price leader of 2007. The title is The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a very limited edition autographed manuscript created very recently by Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling. $3,979,950.

1. Five days later, at the very end of the season, the top spot on the list was secured by one of the few surviving copies of perhaps the most important document ever written, a 1297 manuscript copy of the Magna Carta. $21,321,000.

The Americana Exchange has collected data on the five hundred most lucrative sales of 2007 – the complete AE Top 500 may be viewed here: AE Top 500

We admit that it’s unlikely any of these documents will ever turn up on Trade Me. But we can dream, can’t we?

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