Beautiful and eye-catching art books have always been in demand on AbeBooks. Collectors are willing to pay high prices for rare and signed works. Limited editions featuring Picasso, Joan Miro and Jeff Koons are all on the list of the 10 most expensive art books purchased from AbeBooks this year. Discover what’s on the bookshelves of big spending art lovers.

You can also see the 10 most expensive books sold in August 2008.

1. Lithographe; Lithographs; Vol I-VI

Joan Miro


One of 150 editions printed, this collection contains 14 original color lithographs of which two are numbered and signed by the surrealist painter. Published by Maeght Editeur in Paris.

Sold for $8,495


2. Visionaire #1 - Spring

Edited by Stephen Gans


One of only 1,000 printings of Visionaire’s first issue. The magazine is a self-described 'multi-format album.' Published since 1991, the limited edition issues are stunningly creative and instantly collectible.

Sold for $2,950


3. Ravens

Masahisa Fukase


Ravens captures a decade of photography by Japanese icon Masahisa Fukase around his hometown of Haikido. Published in 1986, this first edition is Fukase’s greatest and last photo book.

Sold for $2,891


4. Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons


Work by this American-born artist sells for millions at auction with sculptural installations in New York, Bilboa, Berlin and London. This exhaustive monograph covers Koon’s career from 1979 onwards. Each of the 1,500 limited editions have been numbered and signed.

Sold for $2,850


5. Chili September 1973

Koen Wessing


Wessing Koen’s photobook captured the Chilean coup d'état of 1973. An archival copy produced with the publisher’s rubber stamp and signed by the photographer on the inside front-wrapper.

Sold for $2,689


6. The Architectural Drawings of Alvar Aalto 1917-1939

Alvar Aalto


This Finnish architect and designer is recognized as the ‘Father of Modernism.’ Among his creations, the Paimio Chair is known around the world, and the design was displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. This 4,500-page collection contains the full work on Aalto’s building and projects.

Sold for $2,526


7. Drevoryty k Mystikum a Visionarum
Josef Váchal


A set of woodcuts from the Czech artist dating from 1911-1913. Five of the woodcuts salute the life of the mystics and seers. Loose in paper folio as issued.

Sold for $2,500

8. Verve. Vol VIII, No. 29/30

(Pablo Picasso edition)


An exceptionally rare American double issue of Revue Verve dedicated to the drawings of Pablo Picasso. This edition includes 16 original Pablo Picasso lithographs printed by Mourlot.

Sold for $2,250


9. De-Coll /Age Happenings

Wolf Vostell


One of 50 signed and numbered copies issued in a wood case with a plexiglass slipcover and a photo of Vostell affixed to the inside cover. Complete with 15 folded posters, a signed silk screen print, packet of Bromo Seltzer and a piece of matzoh.

Sold for $2,000


10. New York: The New Art Scene

Alan Solomon


A first printing of this 1967 photobook featuring hundreds of black and white photos of New York’s rising artists. It includes intimate photos of 14 artists ranging from Duchamp to Warhol.

Sold for $1,750



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