Rare Codex Sassoon: most complete and oldest Hebrew bible could get $50 million at auction

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Old is gold, or in the case of the Hebrew Bible which is over 1,000 years old, that's a whopping $50 million.

Sotheby's auction house was commissioned to sell the Codex Sassoon, the oldest and most complete Hebrew Bible from the 9th century, which is the main link between the Dead Sea Scrolls and today's Bible, during one of its events. "It is a vital cornerstone of human history," said Richard Austin, global head of books and manuscripts at Sotheby's auction house. The most valuable historical document or manuscript ever to appear at auction is estimated to sell for between $30 million and $50 million. The Hebrew Bible contains all 24 books divided into three parts - the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Writings.

Before being auctioned on May 16, 2023, Codex Sassoon will travel around the world from London on February 22-28 to Tel Aviv, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York. "In Codex Sassoon, a monumental transformation in the history of the Hebrew Bible is revealed," said Sharon Lieberman Mintz, senior Judaic expert in Sotheby's Department of Books and Manuscripts. "The biblical text in book format marks a critical turning point in the way we view the history of the Divine Word over thousands of years and is transformative evidence of how the Hebrew Bible has influenced the pillars of civilization - art, culture, law and politics - for centuries," she noted.

"The Codex Sassoon has long held a revered and legendary place in the pantheon of surviving historical documents and is undeniably one of the most important and unique texts in human history," said Richard Austin, Sotheby's global head of books and manuscripts. "With such eminence, the Codex has an unparalleled presence and significance that can only emerge from more than a thousand years of history." Buyers will be interested to know that the Codex Sassoon, although a 1000 year old manuscript, is in excellent condition and older than the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex, other well-known early Hebrew Bibles.

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