Home Arts Oldest existing Hebrew Bible breaks auction record for manuscript at Sotheby’s

Oldest existing Hebrew Bible breaks auction record for manuscript at Sotheby’s

by godlove4241
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A 1,100-year-old Hebrew Bible known as the Codex Sassoon broke a nearly 30-year-old auction record on Wednesday May 16 when it sold for $38.1 million (including fees) during from a single-lot sale at Sotheby’s in New York. . The result makes it the most valuable manuscript ever sold at auction. The auction house expected him to sell for between 30 and 50 million dollars; a four-minute bidding battle between two potential buyers knocked it out of its low estimate.

The oldest and most comprehensive Hebrew Bible in existence, the Codex Sassoon dates from the late 9th or early 10th century and provides critical insight into the history of Abrahamic civilizations, cultural influences, and religious practices.

“In Codex Sassoon, a monumental transformation of Hebrew Bible history is revealed, bringing to light the complete history of the Hebrew Bible that had never before been presented in book form,” said Sharon Mintz, senior Judaica specialist at Sotheby’s, said in a statement. “The Codex Sassoon marks a critical turning point in how we perceive the history of the divine word through thousands of years, and is a transformative witness to how the Hebrew Bible has influenced the pillars of civilization – l art, culture, law, politics – for centuries.”

The Codex Sassoon bundle sale at Sotheby’s in New York on May 17 Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The sale price has exceeded Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester manuscript, which Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates purchased for $30.8 million (including fees) at Christie’s in 1994.

The Codex Sassoon was acquired by American diplomat Alfred H. Moses on behalf of the American Friends of the ANUa New York-based organization that supports the Museum of the Jewish People (ANU) in Tel Aviv, Israel. The manuscript will eventually enter the permanent collection of the ANU.

The Codex Sassoon was recently presented to the public at the ANU in March as part of Sotheby’s international traveling exhibition ahead of the auction, attracting over 20,000 visitors on its tour of London, Los Angeles and Dallas, according to the auction house. The manuscript is named after its former owner, David Solomon Sassoon (1880-1942), who amassed what is considered the largest private collection of Judaic and Hebrew manuscripts ever assembled.

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