Rare Poetry Book Sets Price Record at Moscow Auction

MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) – A rare book of verse by renowned Russian poetess Anna Akhmatova fetched 1.7 million rubles (about $54,000) when it went under the hammer in Moscow, setting a record auction price, an antiquarian bookseller said.

“It’s a new record for an Akhmatova book sold at an open auction,” said Sergei Burmistrov, who runs the antique bookstore where the auction was held.

The book, titled “Anna Akhmatova’s Poetry. 1909-1945,” was printed in 1946, but the print run was almost completely destroyed shortly soon after, following public condemnation of Akhmatova by Communist Party officials. The starting price for the book was 300,000 rubles (about $10,000).

Another price record was set by a copy of Akhmatova’s debut collection of poetry, “Vecher” (Evening), printed in 1912 and signed by the poetess herself. The book was sold for 1 million rubles (about $32,000), about four times its pre-sale estimate of 220,000-250,000 rubles ($7,000-$8,000).

In total, the auction raised more than $5 million, also a record for the Russian rare book market.


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