*** ----> Oldest privately owned book sells for £3mn at UK sale | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Oldest privately owned book sells for £3mn at UK sale

AFP | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The world's oldest book in a private collection, and one of the earliest books in existence, sold at auction in London on Tuesday for more than £3 million.

The Crosby-Schoyen Codex was previously owned by the Norwegian businessman and rare book collector Martin Schoyen, and contains the earliest complete copies of two texts from the Bible -- the book of Jonah and Peter's first epistle. Bidding for the text at Christie's auction house started at £1.7 million for a mix of enthusiastic online and in-person bidders.

Its old for £ 3 , 065 , 000 ($3,898,000) including taxes to an anonymous phone bidder. The codex was discovered by Egyptian farmers in the 1950s.

It was originally copied by a monk in what is now Egypt around the fourth century AD, making it at least 1,600 years old and far older than more renowned ancient texts such as the Gutenberg Bible, which dates from the 1450s.

Written in Coptic script on double-sided papyrus leaves now preserved between plexiglass plates, the ancient biblical text represents advances in written technology at a time when single-sided scrolls were more commonplace.