According to Richard Austin, worldwide head of books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s, the Hebrew Bible is being sold and is “undeniably one of the most significant and unique writings in human history.”
Codex Sassoon comes from its most famous owner, David Solomon Sassoon, and belongs to the late ninth or early tenth century (1880-1942).
According to a release from Austin, it “has been categorically dated as the earliest, most comprehensive manuscript of its sort.”
One of the most notable collections of its kind is Sassoon’s collection of Hebrew manuscripts and Judaica.
Austin continued, “It serves as a crucial link from the old oral tradition of the Hebrew people to the recognized modern form of the Hebrew Bible, which continues to be the acknowledged standard version used today.
According to Sharon Mintz, senior specialist in Judaica books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s, the book represents “a monumental transition” in the development of the Hebrew Bible.
‘Codex Sassoon’ is a transforming witness to how the Hebrew Bible has influenced the pillars of civilization—art, culture, law, and politics—for millennia,’ she said in a release. It “marks a significant turning point in how we see the history of the holy word through thousands of years.”
According to Sotheby’s, the Codex Sassoon will be the most valuable printed manuscript or historical document ever offered at auction because it will be going up for auction for the first time in more than 30 years with an estimate of $30/50 million.
In May, the auction will take place in New York.