Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ancient Hebrew prayer book auctioned for $8m

The illustrated prayer book, known as a mahzor, fetched the highest price ever at an auction for a Hebrew manuscript.

• October 20, 2021

A Hebrew prayer book created around 700 years ago in what is now the German state of Bavaria has been auctioned in New York for around $8.3 million.

The illustrated prayer book, known as a mahzor, fetched the highest price ever at an auction for a Hebrew manuscript, auction house Sotheby’s said on Wednesday.

The book is written in a distinctive and elegant Hebrew script and lavishly illustrated.

The rare prayer book contains the liturgy for the two holiest festivals on the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Previously, the Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor offered for sale by a Jewish cultural organisation was valued at between four and six million dollars.

According to Sotheby’s, several potential buyers were interested in acquiring the prayer book.

The highest bidder was ultimately an American collector who initially chose to remain anonymous. 

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