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Religious Books

Humanity’s search for the divine is as old as man. Early hunter-gatherer tribes sought meaningful ways to interact with the environment, thereby ensuring their survival by appeasing whatever spirits bestowed favorable fortunes upon them. The written record of humankind’s preoccupation with these controlling forces is found in religious texts, which are valuable both for their contents and their worth on the market.

Throughout time, sacred texts have been hidden, stolen, smuggled, and destroyed. These are factors which add to their rarity and value. The earliest-known religious texts are the inscriptions written on the walls of the Egyptian pyramids known as the Pyramid Texts, which date to around 3,000 B.C. Fragments of the Babylonian "Epic of Gilgamesh" and the Sumerian tablets discovered at the archaeological site of Ugarit are important cultural discoveries revealing the religious beliefs of ancient societies. The Dead Sea scrolls, a collection of documents written on papyrus and animal skins containing ancient biblical texts, were discovered in caves in the ‘40s and ‘50s.

Religious books bring lots of excitement at auction based upon their rarity, age, and scholarly or historical applications. The price of rare religious books is steadily climbing, often bringing millions at auction houses.


Quick Facts

  • A rare copy of Rhode Island settlement founder Roger William’s "The Bloody Tenet of Persecution" sold for $175,000 at a 2015 Sotheby's auction. The book was so offensive to Christian views upon publication in 1644 that British Parliament ordered all copies burned
  • The "Gospels of Queen Theutberga of Lorraine," a 9th-century gospel believed to be missing for 20 years, was sold by Christie’s to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for $2,850,844 in 2014
  • "Hebrew Bible: Pentateuch with Haftarot and the Five Scrolls, England: 15 Tammuz 4949=2 July 1189" sold for $3,610,000 at a 2015 Sotheby’s auction. This rare Hebrew book dates to before the expulsion of the Jewish people from the British Isles

Recommended Items at Auction

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[Geneva Bible]
Jun 19, 10:00 AM BST
[Geneva Bible]
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £500- £700
£4405 Bids
Fine Binding Holy Bible
Jun 23, 12:00 PM AEST
Fine Binding Holy Bible
by Sydney Rare Book Auctions
Est: AUD300- AUD400
AUD1804 Bids
Sterling Silver Covered Hebrew English Torah Bible
Jun 26, 12:00 PM EDT
Sterling Silver Covered Hebrew English Torah Bible
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1002 Bids
A Group of Religious Books
Jun 22, 10:00 AM AEST
A Group of Religious Books
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD252 Bids
Two Missale Romanum, added 'Vies Des Saints', Alban Stolz. 19th C. (W:25,5 x H:33 cm)
Jun 20, 1:00 PM CEST
Two Missale Romanum, added 'Vies Des Saints', Alban Stolz. 19th C. (W:25,5 x H:33 cm)
by Flanders Auctions
Est: €240- €340
€2001 Bid
CORAN. Alcorani textus universus. Patavii, ex typographia seminarii
Jun 20, 2:00 PM CEST
CORAN. Alcorani textus universus. Patavii, ex typographia seminarii
by Osenat
Est: €3,000- €4,000
€3,0001 Bid
LARGE 18TH C. OR EARLIER QURAN
Jun 29, 11:00 AM EDT
LARGE 18TH C. OR EARLIER QURAN
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$7501 Bid
Scottish binding
Jun 19, 10:00 AM BST
Scottish binding
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £300- £500
£1801 Bid
An antique Dutch bible, "Die Bibel Coelen", Jaspar Van Gennep, 1548 (L:10 x W:27,5 x H:38 cm)
Jun 20, 1:00 PM CEST
An antique Dutch bible, "Die Bibel Coelen", Jaspar Van Gennep, 1548 (L:10 x W:27,5 x H:38 cm)
by Flanders Auctions
Est: €300- €500
€2401 Bid
Nemesios, Bishop of of Emesa. De natura hominis, Oxford, 1671 & others, theology (16)
Jun 27, 12:00 PM BST
Nemesios, Bishop of of Emesa. De natura hominis, Oxford, 1671 & others, theology (16)
by Forum Auctions - UK
Est: £200- £300
£1001 Bid
Religion
Jun 23, 12:00 PM AEST
Religion
by Sydney Rare Book Auctions
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD401 Bid
1873 HOLY BIBLE HARDING EDITION
Jun 22, 10:00 AM EDT
1873 HOLY BIBLE HARDING EDITION
by Dargate Auction Galleries
Est: $100- $200
$251 Bid
Five mulit-theca with relics. Saints Francis Xavier, B.M.V., Rochus, Donat, Berchmans.
Jun 20, 1:00 PM CEST
Five mulit-theca with relics. Saints Francis Xavier, B.M.V., Rochus, Donat, Berchmans.
by Flanders Auctions
Est: €300- €500
€2401 Bid
Antique Vintage The Church of England The Book of Common Prayer
Jun 21, 10:00 AM AEST
Antique Vintage The Church of England The Book of Common Prayer
by Pfeffer's Auctions
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD1001 Bid
Judaica Lot of 4 Early 1960's Metal Siddur's
Jun 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Judaica Lot of 4 Early 1960's Metal Siddur's
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
NEW Bible,Nice Condition Coffee Table Books
Jun 23, 9:00 AM MST
NEW Bible,Nice Condition Coffee Table Books
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Rand McNally The Bible Story Book - commercial poster
Jun 22, 10:00 AM EDT
Rand McNally The Bible Story Book - commercial poster
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $150- $300
$250 Bids
BIBLIA SACRA.
Jun 20, 2:00 PM CEST
BIBLIA SACRA.
by Alde
Est: €1,500- €2,000
€1,5000 Bids
NOUVEAU TESTAMENT (Le)
Jun 20, 2:00 PM CEST
NOUVEAU TESTAMENT (Le)
by Alde
Est: €500- €600
€5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Religious Books


Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Swann Auction Galleries

Swann Auction Galleries

Jeschke Jádi Auctions Berlin GmbH

Jeschke Jádi Auctions Berlin GmbH

Finarte

Finarte