Books and manuscripts market - 2013 auction review

2013 saw a new record set at Sotheby's for the world's most valuable printed book at auction. Elsewhere, the biggest sales of the year ranged the gamut from illuminated manuscripts to modernist literature.

Top books and manuscripts sale of 2013

Bay Psalm Book Sothebys
The Bay Psalm Book

  • The Bay Psalm Book was the biggest book sale of 2013, realising $14.2m, making it the most valuable printed book ever auctioned. It features translations of Hebrew psalms, and despite its diminutive stature is of huge historical importance as the first book ever printed in the US. It was bought by David Rubenstein, a well-known financier and philanthropist.

2013's important books and manuscripts sales

Samuel Beckett Murphy manuscript
The manuscript for Murphy features Beckett's own drawings

It was a breakout year for…

Harry Potter first edition JK Rowling
The annotated copy of the first book in the Harry Potter series

It was a year to forget for…

One you may have missed…

  • The original Japanese report on the bombing of Pearl Harbour by the pilot who orchestrated the attack sold for $425,000 on the anniversary of the event.


View our books and manuscripts for sale.

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