A rare trove of 11,000 Hebrew books and manuscripts went on display at Sotheby’s in New York this week as the auction house looks for a buyer for what is considered the greatest collection of Judaica in private hands.
The Valmadonna Trust Library includes documents of unparalleled significance, including a copy of a 16th century Hebrew Bible once owned by Westminster Abbey. Some have burn or water marks or other signs of religious persecution.
The complete library, valued at more than $40 million, is being shown in its entirety for the first time at Sotheby’s until Feb. 19. The trust has asked the auction house to facilitate the sale of the complete collection to a public institution or private collector. It will not break up the collection or sell individual works.