Codex Sassoon, the oldest Hebrew Bible known to that has been preserved almost intact to this day, was purchased Wednesday evening at an auction in New York for a whopping $38.1 million, making it the most expensive Jewish manuscript ever sold. The buyer, American diplomat Alfred Moses, purchased the manuscript for Anu - The Museum of the Jewish People, where it is expected to be placed on permanent display.
The 1,100-year-old book was purchased as part of a Sotheby's auction. The value was estimated at $30 million to $50 million, with the purchase price falling in that range.
In March, the Sassoon Codex was put on display to the general public at Anu – Museum of the Jewish People for one week only, as part of an international tour by Sotheby's in preparation for the sale.
The Bible manuscript was purchased for the American Friends of the Museum of the Jewish People NGO, and is now expected to return to the museum in Tel Aviv, this time as part of the permanent display. The sale was closed within a few minutes, with bidders from around the world participating.
The Codex is named after its previous owner David Solomon Sassoon, who had the most outstanding private collection of ancient Jewish texts in the world. It was up for auction for the first time in over three decades.