Codex Leicester: World’s Most Expensive Book
Leonardo da Vinci is most remembered for his brilliant masterpiece of ‘Monalisa’. But, it isn’t the only masterpiece he created. And this wasn’t a painting. It was, wait for it, a book!
Leonardo da Vinci wrote ‘Codex Leicester’, a collection of famous scientific writings. Named after Thomas Coke, the Earl of Leicester, the book is a mix of observations made by Vinci. These observations included topics such as:
- The explanation of fossils appearing on a mountain.
- The movement of water.
- Last, but not the least, the luminosity of moon. Here, Leonardo explains the phenomenon of ‘planet shine’ a century before Johannes Kepler proved it!
The book is an 18-page document. And each page is folded into half. Vinci wrote the book in Italian. He used mirror writing to note down his observations. He also made extensive use of drawings and diagrams to illustrate his writings.
The book was passed down through many generations.
Many famed people have purchased it. Giovanni Della Porta, Michelangelo’s student, was the first owner of the book.
Thomas Coke was himself an owner of the book from 1719-1759. However, the best part about Codex Leicester is that it is the most expensive book in the world, ever!
Bill Gates, everyone’s favorite billionaire, purchased the book at a whopping $30, 802, 500 on November 11, 1994, at an auction conducted by Christie’s!
Bill Gates later scanned the pages of the book into digital files to turn them into wallpaper and screen saver for Windows 95 desktop theme as well.
The book has traveled around the world. The subject of numerous exhibitions across the globe, Codex Leicester recently was on a display at the North Carolina Museum of Art from October 31, 2015, to January 17, 2016.
Codex Leicester: the most valued book in the world is also the most expensive one. Seems legit, right?