A rare copy of the most expensive book in the world, John James Audubon’s “Birds of America,” will be up for sale at Sotheby’s in London on December 7.
Only 119 copies are confirmed to exist, of which 108 are in libraries, universities, and museums. One copy is worth $6.73 million to $10.1 million.
It contains 1,000 life-sized illustrations of almost 500 breeds. It took wildlife artist John James Audubon 12 years to complete his study.
The collection of 435 hand-coloured prints, made from engravings of Audubon’s illustrations, measures more than 90cm by 60cm because Audubon wanted to paint the birds life size.
Another complete copy of Birds of America was sold by Christie’s for $US8.8 million in 2000, a record for a printed book at auction.