Oldest U.S. Book Sells for $14.1M

    A Sotheby?s employee handles a copy the ?Bay Psalm Book?, the first book printed in what is now the USA in 1640 and is considered the world?s most valuable book, with an auction estimate of 15 to 30 million USD, during a preview at Sotheby?s in New York, April 12, 2013. The first edition of the Bay Psalm Book was printed by Congregationalist Puritans in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1640, and Sotheby?s will auction one of the 11 surviving copies, on November 26, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand        (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

    Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

    A 373-year-old book, believed to be the first printed in North America, sold at auction Tuesday night for a whopping $14.1 million. The volume of Psalms is one of just 11 known copies of the estimated 1,700 books printed by the Massachusetts Puritans. Buyer David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group, who owns several other historical documents, said he plans to lend the book to libraries across the country to display. The $14.1 million price tag set a record for a book sold at auction, besting John James Audubon’s Birds of America, which sold for $11.54 million in 2007 (about $12.39 million today).

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