The auction sale of an illustrated Haggadah manuscript dating back to 1726 is expected to bring in as much as $1.5 million, the London Independent reported Tuesday. An auctioneer discovered it in an Osem soup carton in the garage at a house in Manchester where he was carrying out a routine evaluation for the relatives of the owner of the property.
The manuscript contains more than 50 colored scenes from the Torah. Experts think that it was commissioned in Vienna to mark the first child of a member of the Oppenheimer baking family.
The latest owners of the Haggadah smuggled it out of Belgium in 1940 before the Nazis invaded the country.
Dr. Yaakov Wise, of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester, told the British newspaper, “It is very, very lucky that it survived from that period. It is a miracle that it was not thrown out, that it was found and someone realized what it was. I would call it divine providence….
“This was probably in use for 200 years. There are wine and food stains on it which is exactly what you would expect when it was at the table.”