1896 Chaucer book sells for $180,000

Sept. 26, 2007 at 11:20 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- An undisclosed phone bidder paid a New York auction house $180,000 Wednesday for an 1896 volume of Geoffrey Chaucer's work.

"The Kelmscott Chaucer," a pigskin-bound collection of works by the "Canterbury Tales" author is rare, with only 48 copies known to exist.

The book, which features type and decorative borders designed by William Morris, was sold at the inaugural auction held at Bloomsbury Auction House in Manhattan.

Bidding opened at $60,000 in the standing-room only sale room, with 10 additional bidders on the phone.

"We were delighted to have such an important literary and art work a part of our first U.S. auction," Tommaso Zanzotto, chairman of Bloomsbury Auctions said in a statement. "Strong attendance at this first event demonstrates New Yorkers' passion for rare books and prints."

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