Arts & Culture

Italian Pentateuch From 1482 Sells For $3.87 Million At Paris Auction

It’s the most expensive Hebrew language book ever sold. Read More

By / May 1, 2014

An Italian Torah book from 1482 has sold for $3.87 million in Paris, JTA reports. Auction house Christie’s says that the volume “represents the very first appearance in print of all five books of the Pentateuch as well as the first to which vocalization and cantillation marks have been added.” It also contains commentary by the medieval French Torah scholar, Rashi. We’re talking Gutenberg-style status here, folks. This is one of the most rare, valuable Jewish texts of all time.

The sale price—estimated at $2.08 million prior to auction—broke the record for the most expensive Hebrew language book ever sold. Apparently, a fierce ten-minute bidding war broke out between telephone bidders and buyers in the room. No word yet as to whether we’ll get to see it on display in a museum any time soon, but here’s hoping the anonymous buyer is feeling generous.

Image: Christie’s