- The book as a collection item
- Rare Collector's Editions
- The rarest domestic books
- The main criteria for evaluating collectible books
- The most expensive book
- The fate of the book at present
- Books of the USSR
- The most highly rated books in the Soviet Union
A book is a publication consisting of separate sheets on which certain information is applied in various ways, whether it is printed text or a manuscript.
The book as a collection item
A book is a printed matter of more than 48 pages, usually hardcover.
In the modern world, books may differ from standard presentations, in particular due to the emergence of e-books, children's fairy tales that have a non-standard look (for example, cards or three-dimensional spreads).
Now buying this or that book is not difficult. There are many products available for everyone. However, there are some books that are very difficult to obtain.
There are very rare (perhaps in a single copy) books that are hundreds of years old. It is these editions that become especially desirable for collectors around the world. They spare no expense and are ready to give millions to complete their collection with a rare item.
Rare Collector's Editions
What are they, the most expensive books in the world? Below are a dozen of them.
- "The First Book of Urizen", William Blake. Published in 1794, it isone of the main prophetic books of the author. At the end of the 20th century, this piece was sold at a New York auction to a private collector for $2.5 million.
- "The Tales of Biddle the Bard" by J.K. Rowling. Even before the author of Harry Potter became popular all over the world, and her books began to be sold out in millions of copies, seven copies of fairy tales were written by hand by her. Six of them became gifts for friends, and the seventh was put up for auction in 2007. She was valued at $3.98 million.
- "Geography", Claudius Ptolemy. This is the very first printed atlas known in the world, dated 1477. However, this is also the first illustrated work. The atlas was sold at a London auction for $4 million.
- "Treatise on fruit trees", Henri de Monceau, Pierre Poato, Pierre Tervin. A copy of this five-volume edition was sold in 2006 for $4.5 million.
- "The Gutenberg Bible"'. According to the data, there are 48 copies of this work in the world. One of them was sold in 1987 for almost $5 million.
- "Shakespeare's first tome". At present, this edition is one of the most valuable and sought-after books for any connoisseur of antiquity. In 2001, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen purchased the book for $6.1 million.
- "The Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer. The first edition of this piece dates back to the 15th century and sold for $7.5 million at auction.
- "Birds of America" by James Oddubon. The first edition belongs to the category of "most expensive books" for a reason. In 2010, it was sold and, accordingly, bought for 11 and a half million dollars.
- "Gospel of Henry the Lion", Order of St. Benedict. This is a real masterpiece among the manuscripts dating back to the 12th century. The book was created by order of the Duke of Saxony - Heinrich the Lion, it includes 266 pages and contains 50 illustrations. In 1983, the German government purchased it at an auction for $11.7 million.
- And so we come to the logical question of what is the most expensive book in the world. And this is Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester. In 1994, Codex was bought by Bill Gates for a whopping $30.7 million. In modern terms, this is approximately 49 million.
But if you think that only foreign publications are valued at millions of dollars, then you are wrong. Here is a list containing the most expensive domestic works.
The rarest domestic books
So, the top 5 "The most expensive books in Russia".
- "Russian folk pictures", Dmitry Rovinsky. The publication was published in 1881. And already in 2013 it was sold at auction for 11million rubles. In total, there were 250 copies in the world. Number of volumes - 11 units.
- "Eugene Onegin", A.S. Pushkin, 1829-1832 edition. The famous novel was created by the author for seven years. Each chapter was printed as it was written. The convoy contains all the chapters of the work. The price for the book is 8.6 million rubles.
- "Antiquities of the Russian State, published by the Highest Command", Fyodor Solntsev. The author is a specialist in artistic archeology, in his scientific work he described the historical monuments of architecture in the Russian Empire as accurately as possible. Published in 1849, the price for which it was sold in 2013 was 7 million rubles.
- "Common armorial of the noble families of the All-Russian Empire". The list of Russian noble houses was replenished over the course of 37 years, from 1803 to 1840. 10 volumes include 1262 coats of arms. The book is a rare edition and is valued at 6 million.
- Mikhail Chulkov, "Historical description of Russian commerce at all ports and borders…". Multiple papers have been added to the description containing information on the development of Russian trade, industry and transport connections since the time of Peter I. Year of publication: 1781-1788. The price of the work is 5.9 million rubles.
These were the rarest and most expensive books. But this is not a complete list of rare editions. Maybe few people know, but even the most expensive antique books can number several thousand or even millions of copies, of course, in this case, the first editions are of particular value,the price for which can reach several million.
The main criteria for evaluating collectible books
The rarest and most expensive books are selected according to the following criteria.
- Books by Ivan Fedorov or his students. There are not so many editions of the first printer left in the world, but because of their sad state, the price of some works does not rise above 300 thousand rubles.
- Antique books published in the 18th and 19th centuries, illustrated by famous artists.
- Not completely destroyed books. Writers are creative people, and therefore easily hurt. For various reasons, including negative reviews from critics, they bought almost the entire circulation and destroyed their own works. The "survivors" of this frenzy of books are valuable collector's editions.
- The first books of the future luminaries of literature. Writers' drafts are of particular value. Of course, when finding such, handwriting expertise is required.
- Lifetime editions of great writers, especially with their autographs.
The most expensive books are usually the rarest.
The most expensive book
Every educated person has heard of Leonardo da Vinci and at least a little, but is familiar with his work and inventions. Almost everything that a genius undertook became great, and some of his inventions and thoughts were ahead of their time.
The Codex Leicester, or simply the "Treatise on Water, Earth and Celestial Bodies", is one of the most valuable creationsItalian genius. The treatise looks like a notebook with notes about the structure of the world, which the scientist wrote while in Milan from 1506 to 1510
Entries contain illustrations made by the author. Here the inventor shared the conclusions of his observations and experiments that he conducted throughout his life.
In 1717, the treatise was purchased by a famous English house, after which it got its name.
The fate of the book at present
The book was purchased at an auction by the richest man on the planet at that time - Bill Gates - back in 1994 for almost 31 million dollars.
Currently the most expensive book in the world. Her photo is often adorned with brochures of the largest and most famous museums in the world, where the owner of the treatise annually delivers an exhibit.
Books of the USSR
In the former Soviet Union, rare books were also highly valued. The main criteria for their selection were the ratio of the number of copies and demand in the market, binding and, of course, safety.
The most highly rated books in the Soviet Union
So, before you are the most expensive books of the USSR.
Lifetime publications of Trotsky, Zinoviev, Bukharin, as well as books with illustrations from the period 1920-50s. This includes the first editions of Soviet science fiction, books about the war.
Books published up to 1990 with autographs of the authors and a small circulation.