04 Apr The most valuable rare books in existence
As a manufacturer of book scanners, we have had the pleasure of digitising remnants of history ourselves. They might not look appealing nowadays, but there is much more to them than meets the eye. They are monuments to some of mankind’s greatest achievements and of immeasurable value. Almost immeasurable, that is.
Some of the most precious ones in existence have been estimated to be priced at thousands of Dollars for a single one of their pages. One of those books is the “Gutenberg Bible”, which was printed around 1455, only 48 of which have survived the inescapable decay over time, making just one of their pages worth about 50,000 pounds. The book in its entirety, if acquired, would cost upward of tens of millions of pounds. A price that is easily justified, considering that those are very first books in the western world to be printed using the revolutionary technology of movable types that helped usher in a new age in the distribution of knowledge and information.
Another work of enormous impact is the so-called “First Folio” – a collection of Shakespeare´s plays that was published in 1623, a mere seven years after the brilliant author´s demise. The British Newspaper The Telegraph referred to it as the “most enduring work in English literature” , a sentiment shared by many who consider Shakespeare to be the most influential author in English-speaking world.
Another Briton who singlehandedly propelled scientific advancement like no other before or after him, was Isaac Newton. His “Philosphiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica” is considered to be one of the most influential scientific work in all of mankind´s existence and rivals Einstein´s contributions for most momentous impact on our understanding of the universe. It seems only fitting to bestow such a title to the man who, when challenged to explain the retrograde and prograde motions of the planets, invented Calculus. Consequently, a first edition copy of Newton´s Principia is valued at 600,000 USD.
Similarly, a book that has transformed our understanding of the world and the very origin of our existence was written by the unparalleled genius of Charles Darwin. A man of great intellect, who deduced the biological history of all species through observation and the application of the scientific method. It is only understandable that a book revealing this remarkable achievement should have its importance reflected in its price. One of its 1,250 copies of “On the Origin of Species” may be bought for 150,000 pounds, a staggering amount considering its young age and relative abundance for a historical book.
These books and many more like them are the reason why it is an indisputable obligation to capture our history and the record of our development through the ages. Preserving the past for the future.