The Codex Leicester is the rarest book in existence and is a notebook written by Leonardo da Vinci. It is believed to have been written between 1506 and 1510 and is filled with da Vinci’s thoughts and observations on a variety of topics. The Codex Leicester is the only copy of its kind, making it an incredibly rare and valuable book.
After da Vinci’s death, the notebook was passed on to a number of consequential people. It first went to Guglielmo della Porta, then Giuseppe Ghezzi, followed by the first Earl of Leicester, Thomas Coke. The notebook remained in the hands of the Earl of Leicester until 1717, when it was sold to the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
In 1980, the Codex Leicester was purchased by the renowned investor and philanthropist, Bill Gates. He was so taken with the notebook that he paid a reported $30.8 million for it, making it the most expensive book ever sold. Gates has since donated the notebook to a number of museums and universities around the world, allowing it to be seen and studied by the public.
The Codex Leicester is an incredibly rare and valuable book, and it is unlikely that another copy will ever be found. It is a testament to da Vinci’s genius and serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage. The Codex Leicester will be on display at the British Library in London until 29 September 2022, giving people the chance to see this incredible piece of history.