Codex Sassoon: A Vital Touchstone of Human History

New York | May

Codex Sassoon has long held a revered and fabled place in the pantheon of surviving historic manuscripts and is undeniably one of the most important and singular texts in human history. Explaining the gravity of Codex Sassoon is Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, of the Park Avenue Synagogue, and Sharon Mintz, Senior Specialist Judaica of our Books and Manuscripts Department at Sotheby’s. Codex Sassoon, created circa 900, is the earliest surviving example of a single codex containing all the books of the Hebrew Bible with their punctuation, vowels, and accents. The codex is named for its prominent modern owner, David Solomon Sassoon (1880-1942), who assembled the largest and most important private collection of Hebrew manuscripts in the world and had a special affinity for Bibles in particular. The auction will take place in New York on 16 May 2023, alongside Sotheby’s marquee sales of Contemporary and Modern Art, where it could become the most valuable historical document ever sold at an auction.

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