Arts and Entertainment The Bay Psalms Book sold for $14.2 million at a Sotheby's New York auction last night

The work has become the most expensive printed book in the world

Jane Austen draft novel fetches £1m

The earliest surviving Jane Austen manuscript, a hand-written draft of a novel she never finished, sold for £993,250 at auction in London.

Jane Austen manuscript fetches £993,250

The earliest surviving Jane Austen manuscript, a handwritten draft for a book that was never published, sold for £993,250 ($1.6 million) at Sotheby's today.

Most wanted: Billy the Kid photo sells for $2.3m

What is believed to be the only surviving authenticated photograph of Billy the Kid fetched $2.3m (£1.4m) at an auction in Denver, Colorado.

The one that got away: fisherman's legal battle over £150,000 artwork

Fisherman Tony Varney and his daughter Selina found an 1885 work by US watercolourist Winslow Homer outside a rubbish dump in Ireland in the 1980s. The work had apparently been abandoned. They subsequently learnt it was worth £150,000, and attempted to sell the work at auction in New York in 2009.

Rare Austen work for sale

The earliest surviving Jane Austen manuscript, a heavily corrected draft of the unfinished novel The Watsons, is expected to fetch up to £300,000 when it is auctioned in July.

Historic football pamphlet for sale

A hand-written pamphlet outlining the rules of club football is being sold as part of an archive collection expected to fetch up to £1.2 million at auction.

Matthew Bell: The <i>IoS</i> Diary (20/03/11)

In a class of his own

Christie's uncovered: Anatomy of an auction

we all know how an auction ends – with a crash of gavel, a depleted wallet and a dented ego or two – but how do they begin? Christie's auction room in London's St James's has seen more action than most. It has been in use since 1823 and the blockbuster Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale on Wednesday will be one of its busiest of the year. Dealers and collectors from all around the world will be donning their smartest suits and gathering to bid on landmark paintings by Monet, Picasso and Degas, spending millions during a frantic and dramatic evening. But this is merely the public climax to a project that is three months in the making. Long before a painting reaches the rostrum, it has to be sourced by Christie's multinational team headed by Giovanna Bertazzoni and Olivier Camu, and its owners persuaded to sell. Potential buyers across the globe are alerted. Paintings are restored, reframed, studied and valued. And throughout, the team must balance their visceral love of the art and the calculating demands of the market.

Picasso's young muse makes a public appearance

Marie-Thérèse was only 17 years old when, stepping off the Paris Metro one day in 1927, she was approached by a stranger and told: "I am Picasso! You and I are going to do great things together!"

Stolen Degas returned to France after 37 years

Ownership of tiny Impressionist masterpiece was written in code on reverse, but hidden by frame

Sotheby's cancels sale of 'looted' Benin mask

Online protests halt auction of 'plundered' 16th-century artefact

Lloyd Webber uncorks another fortune with sale of wine collection

His ear for a tune and eye for artwork have already helped Lord Lloyd Webber to become a multi-millionaire. Now his lesser-known nose for fine wine is set to add to his fortune.

Original 14th-century King Arthur tale sells for &#163;2.4m

An illuminated 14th-century manuscript containing what is believed to be the oldest surviving account of the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the round table was sold for £2.39m yesterday.

World's most costly book sells for &#163;7m

A new record was set for the world's most expensive printed book at an auction yesterday. A four-volume copy of John James Audubon's Birds of America went for £7,321,250 at Sotheby's in London, surpassing the previous record of £5,565,110 – held by another copy of the same title – and beating the estimate of £4-£6m. The proud new owner, the London dealer Michael Tollemache, described the work as "priceless".

14th-century King Arthur manuscript sold for £2.4m

An illuminated 14th century manuscript containing what is believed to be the oldest surviving account of the legends of King Arthur sold today for more than £2 million.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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