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Philanthropist to Auction Off Major Judaica Collection

January 15, 2013 By:
JTA
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An undated image shows a section of the illuminated manuscript known as the Frankfurt Mishnah Torah, which was created in Italy in the Middle Ages. Image provided by Sotheby's.

Jewish philanthropist Michael Steinhardt will auction off his 500-piece Judaica collection, Sotheby's announced.

The auction house will offer a dedicated auction titled "A Treasured Legacy: The Michael & Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection" on April 29 in New York.

Steinhardt has been collecting rare and unusual Judaica for the past three decades, according to Artdaily.org.

"It is time for the collection to be passed onto a new generation in the hopes that it will encourage them in turn to discover a rich Jewish heritage and the joy of owning a piece of the past," Steinhardt said in a statement released by Sotheby's.

A standout artifact in the collection is the Frankfurt Mishnah Torah, an illuminated manuscript from the mid-15th century that has an estimated value of $4.5 million to $6 million. The first volume of the two-volume set is housed in the Vatican. 

Following an initial exhibition at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries Jan. 25-31, highlights from the Steinhardt collection will travel to Moscow and Jerusalem before returning to New York for a formal exhibition April 24-28. In addition, Sotheby’s specialists will travel to Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil, as well as cities across the United States and Europe, presenting illustrated talks about the collection in advance of the sale, the auction house said.

"The exceptional and rare objects that comprise the Steinhardt Collection illustrate the sweep of Jewish history from antiquity through the 20th century and across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas," according to Sotheby's.

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