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Rare ancient book to be auctioned for over $2.6m

An ancient book, known as the Crosby-Schøyen Codex, is set to be auctioned by Christie’s in London on June 11th, with an estimated value of…

An ancient book, known as the Crosby-Schøyen Codex, is set to be auctioned by Christie’s in London on June 11th, with an estimated value of over $2.6 million.

This Coptic manuscript, believed to be one of the earliest Christian liturgical books, was handwritten by a single scribe over a span of 40 years in a monastery in upper Egypt.

Carbon dating places its origins between the 3rd and 4th centuries. Containing the first epistle of Peter and the Book of Jonah, the codex is a significant testament to the early spread of Christianity.

Encased behind plexiglass in two secure wooden boxes, it forms part of the Bodmer Papyri collection, discovered in the 1950s.

After passing through various hands, the codex was acquired by Norwegian collector Martin Schøyen in 1988, making it the oldest known book in private possession.

 

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