Although non-numismatic, bibliophiles should appreciate this article about the upcoming sale of a Bay Psalm book, the earliest book printed in what is now the USA.
On 26 November 2013, Sotheby’s New York will auction one of the finest surviving copies of the Bay Psalm Book – the first book printed in what is now the United States of America. The Congregationalist Puritans who emigrated to Massachusetts Bay in search of religious freedom quickly set about to translate and produce a version of the Book of Psalms that was a closer paraphrase of the Hebrew original than the one they had carried from England. The first edition of the resulting Bay Psalm Book was printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1640.
No example of the Bay Psalm Book has appeared at auction since 1947, when another copy achieved a record auction price for any printed book at the time – many multiples of what other icons of printing achieved in that period, including the Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s First Folio and Audubon’s Birds of America. The present example of the Bay Psalm Book from the Old South Church’s collection comes to auction at Sotheby’s New York with a pre-sale estimate of $15/30 million.
“The Bay Psalm Book is a mythical rarity. Unseen on the marketplace for more than two generations, it has become too rare to collect. Yet here it is today, this modest little book printed in the American wilderness but embodying the values that created our nation: political freedom and religious liberty.”
To read the complete article, see:
Sotheby's New York to auction the world's most valuable book: The Bay Psalm Book
THE BOOK BAZARRE
RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE
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