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Medieval Manuscript Sold For $75 In Maine Found To Be From 12th Century Book

A 24year old Maine man bought a manuscript in an estate sale for $75, which has now turned out to be 700 years old Medieval page worth $100,000.

Earlier this month, 24-year-old Will Sideri went to a real estate sale on Pleasant Street, Maine, for bargain hunting. There, he stumbled upon a framed manuscript that said it was from 1205 AD and was being sold for $75. Sideri, who knew something about medieval manuscripts, sent the image to his former professor, Megan Cook. Cook, who specializes in the topic, confirmed that the page is from The Beauvais Missal.

The Beauvais Missal was a prayerbook used at the Beauvais Cathedral in France. The seven-centuries-old book was, at one time, in the private collection of media mogul William Randolph Hearst. After his death, the book was sold along with most of his collection. The book was eventually torn into pieces to be sold separately for a higher cumulative price. It is not known how one of the pages came on that real estate.

The Beauvais Cathedral, France

Even before the matter made news, Lisa Fagin Davis (Executive Director, Medieval Academy of America – Simmons University) had started looking into it. For years, Davis had been assembling the missing pages to rebuild The Beauvais Missal and has so far collected 100 (out of 309 total) pages. In fact, Davis was the one Cook contacted to confirm the image. Upon further investigation, Davis concluded that not only is the manuscript authentic, but also in good condition and could be worth up to $100,000.

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However, Sideri has clarified that he has no intention of selling it: “This is something at the end of the day that I know is cool. I didn’t buy this expecting to sell it.”