Bomberg Valmadonna Talmud sold for $9.3m

The Bomberg Valmadonna Talmud has sold for $9.3m at Sotheby's, setting a new auction record for a piece of Judaica.

The book had been estimated to make $7m at the December 22 auction.

Bomberg Talmud Sothebys
The Bomberg Talmud led an auction of famous Jewish texts

It headlined the auction of a world famous library of Jewish texts from the collection of diamond merchant Jack Lunzer in New York.

David Bomberg was a Christian printer based in Venice. His 16th century printing of the Talmud is considered the definitive rendering of the text. His layout and typeface are still used today.

In addition to the book's importance as a Jewish artefact, it's also an important work in the history of Western printing.

Sotheby's explained prior to the sale: "In terms of importance, rarity, and condition, the Valmadonna copy of Daniel Bomberg's Babylonian Talmud is virtually without peer.

"If the first half of the sixteenth century is the 'Golden Age' of Hebrew printing, then the Bomberg Talmud is undoubtedly the pinnacle achievement of the period."

Other highlights of the auction included a Hebrew Bible printed in England in the late 12th century.

The work is the only surviving Jewish text printed in England before the expulsion of the Jews in 1290.

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