Sotheby’s Judaica Auction Event Deemed The World’s Most Valuable
By: Gina Samarotto | January 6 , 2016
Sefer Torah (Pentateuch), Manuscript Scroll On Parchment,
Image Courtesy of Sotheby's
As the only international auction house to present regular sales of Judaica, the name Sotheby’s is rich with prominence within the field. The prestige garnered from these sales has led to the auction house being entrusted with some of the world’s most significant collections including The Michael & Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection, pieces from the collection of Michael and Doris Zagayski, pieces from the Sassoon Family Estate, and important manuscripts from the Montefiore Endowment.
During events held by Sotheby’s this December, international crowds were enthralled with a selection of extraordinary items from The Valmadonna Trust. Among the stunning pieces presented was a Hebrew Bible printed in 1189 in Medieval England, prior to King Edward I’s 1290 edict expelling the Jews. Known as the Codex Valmadonna I, the book is the only known, dated Hebrew text still in existence from that period. With a strike of the hammer, the Codex closed at $3.6 million, helping bring overall auction sales to $14.9 million and bringing the event itself the title of the most valuable auction of Judaica ever held.
Collectively, December sales through Southeby’s Judaica focused auctions brought in $22.6 million. Events also included ‘Various-Owners Auction of Judaica’, where breathtaking offerings included Isidor Kaufmann’s rare painting ‘Interior of the Holleschau Synagogue’ and The Israeli & International Art Auction, where $3.3 million in sales was led by Reuven Rubin’s 1924 painting, ‘The Road to Meron’.