Another record was set at the world-famous London auction house Christie’s - this time for an auctioned book. And it is not just any book, but the First Folio by William Shakespeare from 1623.

The collection is named Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, contains a total of 36 of his plays and was printed seven years after Shakespeare's death. Interestingly, eighteen of those plays have never been released before and would never have survived without being recorded in this file. These include such important works as Julius Caesar, Macbeth, or The Twelfth NightMeasure for Measure.

The achieved amount of $9,978,000 exceeded the pre-auction estimate, which was between $4,000,000-6,000,000.

But that amount also surpassed the price at which Shakespeare's First Folio was auctioned less than 20 years ago. The last time this work appeared in an auction was in 2001 (Christie's New York), when it reached $6,166,000. This is also the reason why the prices of rare collectibles are still rising - there is simply a shortage to buy and demand exceeds supply. This collection was published in 1623 in the number of 750 copies and to this days 235 of them are recorded in various states of completeness. However, there are only 6 complete copies, which are in private hands and the vast majority of them are owned by various institutions in the UK and the US.

The second most expensive printed work in history is "The Birds of America" by French-American ornithologist and painter John James Audubon. This four-volume work was auctioned at Sotheby’s in 2010 for £7.3 million.


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  • Radek Novák
  • +420 608 386 845