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Copy of Shakespeare's collected plays sells for record US$9.9m

[NEW YORK] A rare 1623 book that brought together William Shakespeare's plays for the first time sold for a record US$9.97 million at auction on Wednesday, Christie's in New York said.

The First Folio containing 36 of Shakespeare's plays is one of only six known complete copies in private hands and had carried a pre-sale estimate of US$4 million to US$6 million.

The identity of the buyer was not immediately known.

The previous record auction price of a Shakespeare First Folio was nearly US$6.2 million, paid in 2001, Christie's said.

Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, was compiled by friends of the English playwright and poet seven years after his death.

The book was put up for auction by Mills College, a private liberal arts college in Oakland, California.

Wednesday's sale marked the first time in nearly 20 years that a complete copy of the First Folio had come to auction.


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