New York financier Michael Steinhardt and his wife, Judy, will be selling their 400-plus piece collection of judaica at Sotheby’s in April, according to the auction house. The works stretch from antiquity through the 20th-century and have been sourced from nearly every continent in the world. Before the works hit the block on April 29, they will be exhibited at Sotheby’s in New York (January 25-31 and April 24-28), Moscow, and Jerusalem.
Expected to be the top lot is the Frankfurt Mishneh Torah (1457-65), one of the best illuminated Hebrew manuscripts ever produced, which is estimated to fetch $4.5-6 million (pictured at left, and in full below). It is the second of a two volume set, the first of which is owned by the Vatican.
The 72-year-old Steinhardt is a well-known face in Manhattan art collecting circles. He made headlines in 2011 when he put up 20 modern and contemporary paintings from his collection as collateral for a loan from JPMorgan in order to finance a real estate development project. Despite credit being tight at the time, Steinhardt got a better interest rate on his art loan than he could on a commercial real estate loan.
In addition to collecting modern, contemporary, and Jewish art, Steinhardt told Art+Auction in April 2011 that he owns the world’s largest collection of Peruvian feathered textiles outside of Peru.
— Shane Ferro
(The Frankfurt Mishneh Torah, circa 1457-1465, estimate $4.5/6 million, image courtesy Sotheby’s)