Co-CEO of private equity firm Carlyle David Rubenstein has paid $14.2m for The Bay Psalm Book, making it the most expensive printed book ever sold.
Sotheby’s estimated that the book, which is one of 11 existing copies of the first book printed in America, would sell for between $15m and $30m. Rubenstein, who has a net worth of over $2.5bn, plans to loan the book to libraries in the US.
In 2007, Rubenstein paid $21.7m for a copy of the Magna Carta, which was then lent to the National Archives.
Chairman of Sotheby’s books department David Redden said, “We are thrilled that this book, which is so important to our history and culture, is destined to be widely seen by Americans who can appreciate its singular significance.
“We are, of course, also thrilled to have achieved a new world auction record price for any printed book, which affirms that books remain a vital part of our culture.”
Carlyle has just held a final close of $13bn for its Carlyle Partners VI vehicle, making it one of the biggest funds raised since the global financial crisis.
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