while auction house Sotheby’s is selling what is said to be the most expensive book in the world: The Birds of America, the first and oldest museum in the netherlands Teyler’s Museum (in Haarlem close to Amsterdam) exhibits its own copy. Teyler is the only museum in the Benelux that possesses a complete copy.

The Birds of America is handpainted by the american birdpainter John Hames Audubon (1785-1851) and covers all birds who were known at the time in Northern-America. Teyler’s Museum bought the book directly from the artist himself for a mere 2.200 guilders (less than a thousand euros). i know that’s was a lot of money at that time, but considering the price range today (Sotheby’s expect an amount of 6 to 9 million dollars) i’ll say that its a good investment ;-)

the book is rarely exhibited due to its fragility and preciousness, but is now shown to the public until january 2, 2011. the picture below shows the famous flamingo. the bird was too big to fit to so-called elephant-format so Audubon cleverly displayed the bird with a curved neck. this painting will be shown in Teyler as well.

update: just found out the book was sold for 8.64 million euros.

picture is handpainted by John Hames Audubon and belongs to Teyler's Museum