Record auction in Rome for the Books, Autographs and Prints Department

The auction has totalled around one million euros and "The Summa" by Luca Pacioli - following expectations - became the most expensive printed book ever sold in Italy.

Lotto 18: ALIGHIERI, DANTE - Comento di Christophoro Landino Fiorentino sopra la Comedia di Danthe Alighieri poeta fiorentino, 1481

The Summa by Luca Pacioli (Venice, 1494) – following expectations -became on June 20th the most expensive printed book ever sold in Italy in a public auction. After a fierce auction competition over the phones, the hammer stopped at € 440,000, and the book was sold for € 550,000 buyer’s premium included. 

The rare beauty of the copy and the market’s demand – exceptionally high interest in the book by international buyers – have decreed the sale’s success.  The result testifies to the stability of the prestigious books’ market in Italy – primarily scientific ones that in recent years have had a decisive surge in values.

The auction, tight and exciting, as a whole has totalled around one million euros, including the buyer’s premium, with a percentage of lots sold close to 65% and over 100% on the overall value.

Among the top lots: Dante di Landino in a splendid contemporary binding (lot 18), sold for € 62,500, a precious Aldina from Calepino in its original binding (lot 27 – € 17,500) an elegant Fifteenth-Century manuscript by Boezio (lot 19 – € 13,750) and a rare photo album from China probably by Felice Beato (lot 311) sold for € 16,250.



Worthy of mention are also the National Library of Rome’s purchases and those of other Italian public institutions, which have secured the precious unpublished Notebooks by Gadda (lot 10 – € 37.500), important “dannunziana” papers and various other valuable manuscripts. It is indeed a great sign of attention from the MIBAC to the cultural heritage that appears on the market, and that deserves to be preserved.


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