In 2011 Sotheby's in New York sold this American first edition of Moby-Dick for $74,500. It once belonged to the Morewood family, but how and why it ended up on the auction block 160 years after publication isn't known. It was in relatively good shape, though no one in 2011 noted any inscription or other marks in the copy except the name of Sarah Morewood's husband--John Rowland Morewood--on the endpaper.
Sotheby's referred in their description of the book to Melville's "vivacious friend," Sarah Morewood, but no other information was given to explain why she was either "vivacious" or a "friend." The anonymous buyer walked away with a great treasure at what may well turn out to be a bargain price, even though it was far above the pre-sale estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.
Of course, the irony of these first editions fetching such large sums is that Melville himself made so very little from his masterpiece--just a little more than $500 in the forty years following Moby-Dick's publication.