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First book to be published in United States to be sold for $30 MILLION

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

What a difference 66 years makes . the first recognized book to be published in the United States, a translation of the Psalms by the nation's Puritan settlers, fetched $151,000 when it first went to auction in 1947. Now, another copy is going to auction shortly and it's expected to fetch $30 million. Let's hope it makes for scintillating reading!

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  This will make it the most expensive book ever sold. Printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Bay Book of Psalms, first printed in 1640 will go to auction at Sotheby's on November 16.

With only 1,700 copies printed, and published on a press shipped specially from England, only 11 copies of the book survive today. Of those 11, only six have their title page intact. The book's proper name is printed there: "The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre."
 
The one to go to auction, which includes the title page, has been held in Old South Church in Boston for the last 300 years. It's being sold to fund social outreach programs and building repairs.

All other copies reside in the hands of institutions such as the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library and Harvard and Yale universities. These copies will not be sold.

The book is a translation by New England's finest scholars and ministers of the time who sought to make it more faithful to the original Hebrew than other versions of the time.

"Its value lies in the fact that it's not only America's first book, both in terms of it being written here and published here," David Redden, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's books department says. "But it's really about the beginning of Western civilization in what was British North America - and from that was born the story of the U.S."

The sale will mark the second occasion where a Bay Psalms Book was sold, and the second time it has broken a record. When the other copy went on sale in 1947, it fetched a price of $151,000, which is the equivalent to $1.53 million in today's money.

The current record-holder is James Audubon "Birds of America" which was sold by Sotheby's in London in 2010 for 7.3 million.

The book will tour various cities in the U.S., followed by its own security detail, before bidding officially begins.

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Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)