A copy of the first collection of plays by English playwright William Shakespeare was sold on Wednesday for $ 9.97 million at auction in New York, a record for a literary work.
The price paid for the book, which includes commission and costs, has largely exceeded the top of the estimate range proposed by the house Christie’s, which organized the sale, between 4 and 6 million dollars.
The collection, printed in 1623 and which brings together 36 plays by Shakespeare, is sometimes considered the greatest literary work in the English language.
Published after the death of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), the book is the result of the work of collecting two friends of the author, John Heminge and Henry Condell.
It contains major pieces that would likely have been lost without this publication, including “Macbeth” and “Night of the Kings”.
The copy sold Wednesday, which is one of six now held by private collectors, set a new record for a literary work.
Several books have already gone beyond this, most notably Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester, which was purchased for $ 30.8 million by Bill Gates in 1994, a record.
But they are research works, like the Codex, religious works, illustrated books or official documents.