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Ancient Manuscript Sells for $3

todayJune 13, 2024 19

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Crosby Schoyen

The Crosby-Schøyen Codex, the oldest known book in a private collection, sold for an impressive $3.9 million at Christie’s auction in London on Tuesday. The sale exceeded the estimated high of $3.8 million.

Ancient Manuscript Sells for .9 Million at Christie’s AuctionCrosby Schoyen

Dating back to 250-350 A.D., this 104-page codex is one of the earliest books in existence and a key artifact of early Christianity. It contains the oldest complete texts of 1 Peter and Jonah and is the oldest Christian liturgical manuscript.

Eugenio Donadoni, a specialist in Medieval manuscripts at Christie’s, emphasized its importance, noting that it represents the transition from papyrus scrolls to book form.

Found in Egypt in the 1950s, the codex was preserved by the country’s dry climate. It was held at the University of Mississippi until 1981 and later acquired by collector Martin Schøyen in 1988. His collection was auctioned this week.

The auction also featured the Codex Sinaiticus Rescriptus, which sold for $1.7 million. However, these figures are modest compared to last year’s sale of the Codex Sasson, a 1,100-year-old Hebrew Bible, for $38.1 million at Sotheby’s.

While the Crosby-Schøyen Codex didn’t reach that record, its $3.9 million sale price underscores its historical value.

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