Copernicus Book Sells For More Than $2.2M In NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — A 16th-century, first edition of the book in which Nicolaus Copernicus puts forth his theory that the sun – not the earth – is at the center of the universe has fetched more than $2.2 million at an auction.

Christie’s offered the book for auction yesterday, along with about 300 others.

The 1543 copy of “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres” was expected to sell for up to $1.2 million. Christie’s describes it as “arguably the finest copy in private hands.”

The collection also included a telephone book for New Haven, Connecticut issued in 1878. That was two years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. The 20-page book contains 391 names and numbers and went for more than $170,000.

A bidding war among six collectors drove the price up from the $40,000 auctioneers expected it could fetch.