A first edition of "The Canterbury Tales," the English masterpiece by Geoffrey Chaucer, was sold in London for a record price of 4.6 million pounds ($7.5 million) to the billionaire philanthropist Sir Paul Getty.

Christie's, the auctioneers, had expected the book to fetch up to 700,000 pounds at the most.It was one of only 12 copies of the edition printed by William Caxton that are still in existence.

The book, sold at auction on Wednesday evening, was produced toward the end of the 15th century.