Copy of Shakespeare's collected plays sells for $9.9 mn

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

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A rare 1623 book that brought together William Shakespeare's plays for the first time sold for a record $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 $4 million to $6 million.

The identity of the buyer was not immediately known.

The previous record auction price of a Shakespeare First Folio was nearly $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. It includes 18 plays that had never been published before and might have been lost, including MacbethThe Tempest and As You Like It.

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.