Oldest most complete Hebrew Bible sells for $38m at auction

The oldest most complete Hebrew Bible has been bought at Sotheby’s New York for $38.1m (£30.6m), becoming the most valuable manuscript sold at auction, the BBC reports.

The Codex Sassoon is thought to have been written about 1,100 years ago.

It is the earliest surviving example of a single manuscript containing all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible with punctuation, vowels and accents.

US lawyer and former ambassador Alfred Moses bought it for the ANU Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The winning bid exceeded the $30.8m paid by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in 1994 for the Codex Leicester, Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific notebook.

But it fell short of the record for a historical document sold at auction set by hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who bought a first-edition printed copy of the US constitution for $43.2m two years ago.

The Codex Sassoon is named after a previous owner, David Solomon Sassoon, who acquired it in 1929 and assembled the largest and most important private collection of Hebrew manuscripts in the world at his home in London.

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