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Codex Leicester
Leonardo da Vinci

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THE MOST expensive books ever sold.

The Codex Leicester, also briefly known as Codex Hammer, is a collection of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci. The Codex is named after Thomas Coke, the first Earl of Leicester, who purchased it in 1717. The manuscript currently holds the record for the highest sale price of any book, as it was sold to Bill Gates at Christie’s auction house on 11 November 1994 in New York for USD 30.802.500 (equivalent to USD 52.000.000 in 2018).

The Codex consists of 18 sheets of paper, each folded in half and written on both sides, forming the complete 72-page document. It was handwritten in Italian by Leonardo, using his characteristic mirror writing and supported by copious drawings and diagrams.

At one time the sheets were bound together, but they are now displayed separately. After Gates acquired the Codex, he had its pages scanned into digital image files. It has been unbound with each page individually mounted between glass panes. It is put on public display once a year in a different city around the world.

The replica is undoubtedly a unique and perfect work that fully reflects the features, character and spirit of the original. Made by hand extremely laborious and complicated technique of paper sculptures. In the process of finishing cards, appropriate varnish methods and unique techniques were used to give the work the right color, smell and structure.

More Information

Facsimile specification

Title: “Codex Leicester” Leonardo da Vinci
Technique: sculpture in paper
Process: fully manual
Number of pages: 72
Dimension: 29 cm x 22 cm
Paper: Arcoprint 85 gr.
Edition: 199 copies
Accessories: supplement / commentary, wooden stylized
chest, numbered wrapper of natural leather with wax seal, gloves ISBN: 978-83-952639-4-1