The first English edition of Niccolo Machiavelli’s seminal work The Prince, dated 1640, was recently discovered during a collection evaluation in Norfolk, UK. Andrew Bullock, the head of the book department at Keys auction house was combing through a late collector’s books when he was drawn to a particular shelf. “The Machiavelli was on a shelf hidden amongst a number of Common Prayer books, but some sort of sixth sense asserted itself, and I took it down to take a closer look,” Bullock said.
No matter what ‘sixth book sense’ brought Bullock to his discovery, he and many collectors are very happy that it did. Bullock called it an “extremely exciting find” as “it is very rare for an English first edition of such an important work to come to auction.” The book is 300 pages long and measures only 14.5cm x 9cm (5¾in x 3½in), but is expected to bring in £25,000 to £30,000 ($30,992 to $46,488) when it is auctioned this Thursday, July 26.