Portrait of Edward Lear

A letter from Edward Lear made the top of the list for most expensive books sold in April, even if it wasn't actually a book. The two-page letter sold for $11,491.

You can also see the ten most expensive books sold in 2007.

1. Autographed Letter

Edward Lear

A two-page illustrated autograph letter by the nonsense poet Edward Lear, most famous for writing The Owl and the Pussycat, dated 9th September 1867. The letter contains a detailed self-caricature sketch showing Lear with outstretched limbs, as well as a comedic request to visit the recipient.

Sold for $11,491

2. Biblia Latina

Johannes Herbort de Seligenstadt

Printed in 1484, these bibles were the first to use the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts to improve the common Latin Vulgate bible text. The first "Fontibus Ex Graecis" Biblia Latina was published 1479 by Amerbach and was named after the first line of three distichs (couplets) that were included in the texts. Johannes Herbort de Seligenstadt used Amerbach's revised second edition for this Biblia Latina.

Sold for $10,807

3. Historia Plantarum Universalis

Johann Bauhin

Botanist Johann Bauhin's great work, printed at Yverdun in 1650-1651. These famous volumes contain botanical data for thousands of species with considerable attention paid to different varieties of the same plant.

Sold for $10,255

4. Corpus Nummorum Italicorum. Primo Tentativo di un Catalogo Generale delle Monete Medievali e Moderne Coniate in Italia o da Italiani in Altri Paesi

Corpus Nummorum Italicorum

Twenty volumes, 1910-1943 - the standard reference on Italian coins from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.

Sold for $7,500

5. Viaggio Negle Stati Uniti Dell`America Settentrio

Luigi Castiglioni

Account of the travels of the young count Castiglioni (1757-1832); who was the first Italian to travel the American South. His narrative is an important overview of the United States for the time, especially for agricultural and botanical information. Two volumes.

Sold for $7,500


Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry

53 volumes of the official journal for the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry 1937-38 to 2006

Sold for $5,688

7. Comedias Verdaderas

Tirso de Molina

Three volumes printed from 1734-1736. A beautiful third edition of the Truth Comedies by the Spanish Baroque poet and playwright, who gave the world Don Juan

Sold for $5,300

8. The Works of Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett

Complete set of this very rare limited edition of the works of Samuel Beckett, published in 1970 to celebrate his Nobel Prize. This is No. 195 of only 200 sets. "Waiting for Godot" is signed by Beckett under the limitation notice.

Sold for $5,182

9. Mémoire pour le Sieur de de Boishebert

Charles Deschamps of Boishebert

Charles Deschamps of Boishebert was born in Quebec in 1727. As a Marine officer in the French army, he played an important role in various command posts between 1746 and 1760. This memoir gives detailed descriptions of several historical events in this period and the role played by Boishebert.

Sold for $4,719

10. Histoire de l'oeil

Lord Auch

The Story of the Eye, written by Georges Bataille (1897-1962), details the sexual experimentation of two teenage lovers, and their increasing perversion. The book is widely considered not only the best surrealist work of fiction but also the most important erotic novel written since 1900.

Sold for $4,566