This eight-page document was published in 1859, two years after it was first published under the title The One Horse Open Sleigh.
It was offered at Henry Aldridge & Son with an estimate of £5000-8000 and hammered down at £15,000 (£19,000 with buyer’s premium) to an as yet unidentified Christmas themed museum in South Korea.
Henry Aldridge & Son’s Andrew Aldridge said the price is an auction record for a piece of Christmas sheet music.
The song was written by James Pierpont (1822-93) and first printed by a Boston publishing house in 1857 under the title One Horse Open Sleigh later becoming known as Jingle Bells when it was reissued two years later.
It has been claimed it was written to be sung for Thanksgiving and has no original link to Christmas. But by the 1860s-70s it had become associated with winter and Christmas music.
It is now one of the best-known and most commonly sung American songs in the world.