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Copernicus science classic sells for $2.2 million

A copy of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ masterwork – De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), printed in 1543 – sold for $2.2 million yesterday at a sale of more than rare 300 science books.

The sale also included a phone book for New Haven, Conn., that was issued in 1878, two years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Auctioneers had expected the phone book to fetch between $30,000 and $40,000, but the price skyrocketed to $170,500 in a bidding war among six collectors.

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