Ancient Book Set to Sell for Over $2.6M

An ancient book, the Crosby-Schøyen Codex, written in Coptic on papyrus in Egypt, is set to be auctioned by Christie’s in London on June 11. It’s estimated to fetch between $2.6 million and $3.8 million. The codex, consisting of 52 leaves made by a single scribe over 40 years, dates back to the 3rd or 4th century, containing the first epistle of Peter and the Book of Jonah.

Preserved behind plexiglass in wooden boxes, the codex is part of the Bodmer Papyri, discovered in the 1950s. It was acquired by the University of Mississippi in 1981 and later purchased by Norwegian collector Martin Schøyen. Eugene Donadoni from Christie’s notes its significance in textual transmission and the history of the book, likening it to Gutenberg’s printing press.

The codex, a testament to early Christianity, is well-preserved due to Egypt’s favorable climate. It’s part of The Schøyen Collection, comprising manuscript masterpieces spanning 1,300 years of cultural history.

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