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Monday, Jul 22, 2024

World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million

The world's oldest privately owned book, the Crosby-Schoyen Codex, was auctioned in London for over three million pounds. Discovered by Egyptian farmers in the 1950s, this 1,600-year-old manuscript contains early copies of biblical texts and was sold to an anonymous bidder. It set a record at Christie's, although it doesn't surpass the $38.1 million sale of the Codex Sassoon last year.
The world's oldest privately owned book, the Crosby-Schoyen Codex, sold for over £3 million at a London auction.

Discovered in the 1950s by Egyptian farmers, the manuscript is over 1,600 years old, dating back to the fourth century AD.

It contains early copies of the biblical texts of Jonah and Peter's first epistle.

Formerly owned by Norwegian rare book collector Martin Schoyen, the codex fetched £3,065,000 ($3,898,000) including taxes through Christie's auction house.

Bidding began at £1.7 million and concluded with the text being sold to an anonymous phone bidder.

The codex, written in Coptic script on double-sided papyrus leaves, was previously in Egypt.

Twelve additional pieces from the Schoyen Collection were also auctioned, which spans over 20,000 pieces covering 5,000 years.

This sale, while significant, does not surpass last year's record sale of the Codex Sassoon, a Hebrew Bible, which sold for $38.1 million at Sotheby's in New York.

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