Books worth gold

Collection of unique and exceptionally valuable books.

Incredible works, which today are worth real fortunes.

“Leicester Code”
Leonardo da Vinci’s “Leicester Code” was purchased in 1994 by Bill Gates for $30.8 million. This 72-page collection of scientific and philosophical writings is in perfect condition. It dates back to 1500 and has the peculiarity of having been written backwards, with a «specular» writing: a mirror is necessary to read the text.
“The Gospels of Henri Le Lion”.
Commissioned by Henri Le Lion of the Helmarshausen monastery, these gospels were drawn up and carefully illustrated in 1188. The work is sumptuous, testifying to the richness of the monastic art of miniatures and piety of the 12th century. It was bought in 1983 for 8.15 million pounds and its value is currently estimated at more than 16 million euros.
“Birds of America”
John James Audubon, a French-American painter and naturalist, loved birds. Starting in 1820, he dedicated himself to touring the United States and drawing all the species he encountered. His work consists of 435 watercolors painted in the “double-elephant” format (98x76cm). In December 2010, a complete collection of originals sold at “Sotheby’s” for $11.5 million.
“Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies”
This is the first compilation of Shakespeare’s plays, printed in folio format. The book consists of 36 pages and was published 7 years after the death of the writer, by two of his close friends. One of the 40 complete copies cataloged was sold for $5.6 million dollars at “Sotheby’s”, but specialists estimate its value at more than 16 million euros.
“Gutenberg’s Bible”
Titanic work by Johannes Gutenberg: the printing of the “42-line Bible” was a technological feat. Premier printed text in Europe thanks to mobile signs, perfectly calibrated thanks to the use of ligatures and spaces reserved for miniatures. An original copy was bought for $5.4 million dollars in 1987 but the most beautiful copies are estimated at more than 20 million euros.
“The Canterbury Tales”
The 24 stories that make up this work by Geoffrey Chaucer relate the stay of a group of pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Written in verse in 1478, the text is profusely illustrated with miniatures. An original copy was bought for $7 million at auction.
“Les Liliacées”
This incredible work “in folio” supposed its author Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s is a meticulous work of observation of liliaceae during several years. The 480 plates were completed in 1802 in the garden of the Malmaison (of the Empress Josephine). They caught the attention of Napoleon, who commissioned several dozen copies for museums in France. It was acquired in 1985 for about $5 million.
“Vita Christi, Life of Christ and the Virgin”
It was completed to become a rosary and a devotional volume. The lighting system is handwritten on parchment. It is one of the most beautiful 12th century productions ever sold. Its 57 illustrations give it a beauty and intensity of colors unique to religious works. It was acquired by German collector Jörn Gunther in 2007 for $3.5 million.
“The Tales of the Bard Beedle”
Written by the author of Harry Potter, it is a compendium of little fables that supposedly all the little witches of Poudlard knew each other.
J. K. Rowling made 7 copies by hand, adorned in the paste with semi-precious stones. One of them was auctioned for a charity stock and purchased by Amazon.com for £1.95 million.
“The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution”
It officially abolished slavery in the country at the time of its adoption, on December 6, 1865. The text, which takes the Principles of the proclamation of the emancipation of Abraham Lincoln, is considered one of the founding acts in US history. . It was auctioned for $1.9 million.
“The Book of Urizen”
William Blake was a poet and painter, which allowed him to transcend lyricism
of his works thanks to the image. Urizen’s first book is a literary gem.
The strength of the text, a kind of pagan Genesis, and the unique composition of its pages continues to attract collectors. The work dates from 1794 and was sold at a price of $2.3 million.
First issue of “Action Comics” in 1938.
In this first issue the adventures of Superman are published. Sold then for 10 cents, it is today the prized treasure of comic book collectors.
In March 2010, it was auctioned for $1.5 million.
“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
Lewis Carroll’s book is indisputably a work of art in world literature. The book market experts were not mistaken as an original 1865 edition was loaned for the sum of $1.4 million in 1998. The first edition, printed with 2,000 copies, is extremely unique and superbly illustrated by John Tenniel.
“Mercator’s Atlas”
The geographer and mathematician Gerardus Mercator was the first cartographer who imagined a system of projection of the Earth’s surface on a cylinder tangent to the equator (method still in force). His atlas, printed in 1569, got him some trouble with the Church and was bought for $800,000 at Sotheby’s.
“Tamerlane and other poems”
It is the first work published by Edgar Allan Poe in 1827, when he was 13 years old. If Poe admits the poor quality of his texts, collectors waged a fierce struggle to acquire it. The happy buyer paid out $663,000.
“El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote De La Mancha”
Written by Cervantes and published in 1605, it is the greatest classic book of literature in the Spanish language of all time. It is also the most expensive novel in history. An original copy was purchased for $ 1.5 million in 1989. Today it is estimated at more than $ 2.5 million.
“Ptolemy Geography”
Made around the year 150 AD, it has enormous precision errors but also offers us the immense knowledge accumulated by Greek science, such as the sphericity of the Earth and the existence of a southern continent. The manual will have a great influence among Renaissance cartographers. As a rare book, it sold for $3.5 million in 2006.
“From Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium”
Revolutionary work par excellence changed the vision of Europeans, describing a universe centered around the sun. Printed in 1543, Copernicus’s scientific writings immediately sparked violent protests from the Church, and the text was long viewed as subversive. It was bought in 2008 for $2 million.

Original based on PPT by doucetentacion@gmail.com and https://www.linternaute.com/livre/magazine/1054428-les-livres-les-plus-chers-de-l-histoire/1054430-l-evangeliaire-de-henri-le-lion.

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