Sunday, January 22, 2012
A rare first edition of John James Audubon's illustrated "The Birds of America" depicting more than 400 life-size North American species in four monumental volumes was purchased at auction Friday for $7.9 million.
Christie's auction house identified the buyer as an American collector who bid by phone.
The winning bid was within the presale estimate of $7 million to $10 million for the work, considered a masterpiece of ornithology art.
Another complete first edition of "The Birds of America" sold at Sotheby's in London in December 2010 for $11.5 million, a record for the most expensive printed book sold at auction.