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Rare Jewish manuscript found in Bury garage sells for £210,000
2:34pm Friday 29th November 2013 in News
A rare manuscript found in a Bury garage fetched hundreds of thousands of pounds when it went under the hammer last week.
Experts initially thought the 18th century Haggadah would sell for between £100,000 and £150,000 at auction, but the manuscript went for £210,000 on Friday.
It will now return to Austria where it was first created, after being purchased by the Jewish Museum in Vienna.
Dr Yaakow Wise, based in Sedgley Park, was involved in the discovery of the manuscript and will be featured in a special edition of BBC antiques show Flog It, to be shown in the New Year.
The text is thought to date back to 1726 and is used by Jewish people on the first night of Passover.
The text was discovered in a cardboard box while a house was being cleared in August, after the Jewish family who lived there had died.
The identity of the family is unknown, as is the location of where the manuscript was found, but it is believed it may be in Sunnybank.
It reached the UK after being smuggled out of Belgium by the family during the Second World War.
It is thought the family moved to Bury from London about 10 years ago and that the manuscript has been in the same family for more than a century.
Dr Wise, who is an academic at the Centre for Jewish Studies at Manchester University, says it could have been the most valuable Jewish book ever to be sold in the UK.
He added: “There are very few of them from the scribe who wrote it still around, and there are less than half a dozen left in the world.
“The family’s niece was clearing the house out and was going through all these boxes out and a few of the younger relatives said: ‘Why don’t you get an auctioneer in’.
The 20-leaf prayer book is written in Hebrew and is filled with scripture and songs used in the Jewish religious holiday.
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