Despite its miniature size, this tiny 1640 book of psalms called “Bay Psalm Book” easily fetched an astonishing $14.2 million figure at recent Sotheby’s auction, making it not only the world’s most expensive book, but the most expensive printed work of all time.
Being one of the 11 remaining copies out of about 1,700 originally printed, “Bay Psalm Book” was bought by US financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein. The book was sold by Boston’s Old South Church, which also owns the second copy with no intention of selling it.
As BBC reports, the piece gained fame as the first book ever printed in the US. It was originally published by the Puritan leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The piece is already known as a record-breaker, as a copy sold in 1947 set an unprecedented record at the time, fetching a total of $151,000. However, the book is also heavily criticized due to several striking errors. For example, every top-left page has a world “Psalm” properly written, along with a Roman numerals number. The right page on the other hand, has the word “Psalme.”