NPR logo Not A Record, But Audubon Set Still Sells For A Tidy $7.9 Million

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Not A Record, But Audubon Set Still Sells For A Tidy $7.9 Million

One of the 400 engraved images in the Audubon set: a Common American Swan. Christie's /AP hide caption

toggle caption Christie's /AP

One of the 400 engraved images in the Audubon set: a Common American Swan.

Christie's /AP

We wouldn't want to say that $7,922,500 isn't an awful lot to pay for one set of four books.

But we do have to point out that it's not a record.

Thursday, we previewed the Christie's New York auction of a rare set of John James Audubon's Birds of America. As we reported, there was talk that it might fetch more than the record $11.5 million paid for another full set of the books in 2010.

Alas, Christie's says, the "hammer price" paid by an American collector was within the "expected" range of $7 million to $10 million — but not near the premium price paid two years ago.

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