Published: February 8, 2016
NEW YORK CITY — A previously unknown seventh edition of the Bay Psalm Book, published in Boston, 1693, with provenance tied to Salem witch trial judge Jonathan Corwin, as well as descendants of John Proctor, attained $221,000 from a dealer at Swann Galleries’s February 4 printed manuscript auction.
Officials at the Salem Witch Museum told the Associated Press the museum was among the bidders but could not bid past $40,000. The auction totaled just over one million dollars and had a 90 percent sell-through rate, by lot.
“In general, the market for printed and manuscript Americana remains very strong,” Book Department Director and Americana Specialist Rick Stattler said. “This was our fourth million-dollar Americana auction in the past 18 months. The considerable attention pre-sale attention paid to the Bay Psalm Book, lot 84, and the success of that lot was particularly satisfying — it was the highest price ever paid for a book at a Swann Americana auction.”
A complete review of the sale will appear in a future edition.
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