A 1477 edition of Ptolemy's Cosmographia sold today at Sotheby's for £2,136,000, setting a new sale record for an atlas. The BBC reports that bidding on the volume started at £600,000. "It was the latest item to be sold off from the Wardington Manor library, in Banbury, Oxon, to cover restoration costs of the fire-damaged property." The manor burned in 2004, and the rare books were saved by local villagers who "formed a human chain" to retrieve them from the burning building.
The high bidder was dealer Bernard Shapero, who purchased the atlas on behalf of an undisclosed private client.