A rare trove of 11,000 Hebrew books and manuscripts went on display at Sotheby's this week as the auction house seeks to find a buyer for what is considered the greatest collection of Judaica in private hands.

The Valmadonna Trust Library includes documents of unparalleled significance including a copy of a 16th-century Hebrew Bible once owned by Westminster Abbey. Some have burn or water marks or other signs of religious persecution.

The complete library, valued at more than $40 million, is being shown in its entirety for the first time at Sotheby's Manhattan galleries until Feb. 19. The trust has asked the auction house to facilitate the sale of the complete collection to a public institution or private collector. It will not break up the collection or sell individuals works.

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