If I asked you how much would you pay for a book on double-entry, I’m guessing most of you wouldn’t be willing to pay $1.2m.
Whilst accountants the world over know and (sometimes) love double-entry, the most that most people would have paid for a book on double entry would be £20 to £30 when they were studying for their exams.
A book on double entry was sold a couple of years ago though for a lot more.
A great deal more in fact.
$1,215,000 to be exact.
The book is an extremely rare book written by Luca Pacioli.
That name probably sounds familiar to many accountants reading this as Luca Pacioli was a Franciscan monk who came up with the concept of double entry back in the 15th century.
The book that was sold is called Summa de arithmetica and was printed in Venice in 1494. It contains the first published description of double-entry bookkeeping.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) hold two copies of the book (neither of these are the book that was sold for $1.2m).
If you’re interested in looking at the contents of Summa de arithmetica you can do so courtesy of ICAEW’s “Turning the page library”.
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