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World’s most expensive book, Birds of America, set to fetch $10m; Edition of John James Audubon’s masterpiece of ornithological art, one of only 120, expected to break auction records…

"A copy of the world’s most expensive book, John James Audubon’s 19th-century masterpiece Birds of America, is set for auction later this month and is expected to sell for up to $10m (£6.5m).

Only 120 complete sets of Audubon’s 435 hand-coloured, life-sized engravings of America’s birds are believed to exist today, with the majority (107) owned by institutions. The last full edition of The Birds of America, which went up for auction in 2010, sold for £7.3m at Sotheby’s, breaking the world record for a single book. The new set was bought by the fourth Duke of Portland at some point after 1838 and is in “excellent” condition, said Christie’s, through whom it is being sold.”

Read more in The Guardian here.

(Image: Birds of America … a swan painted by John James Audubon in the book expected to sell for £10m. Photograph: Christie’s Images Limited 2011)

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