Skip to main content

Torn page from Quran sells for $68,000 at auction

By Hilary Whiteman, CNN
updated 4:57 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
A single torn page believed to be from the Quran has sold for $68,000 at auction in Sydney.
A single torn page believed to be from the Quran has sold for $68,000 at auction in Sydney.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Single double-sided page believed to be from the Quran sells for $68,000
  • Page was in an old frame, and came from a deceased estate in Melbourne
  • Pre-auction estimate was $37 to $55 before the sale in Sydney on Saturday

(CNN) -- Prepare for pangs of envy.

A torn page in a cheap, tatty frame has sold at auction for an eye-watering $68,000 (A$74,000), plus commission.

Sydney auctioneer Mark Owens confesses he still knows very little about lot 11, which appears to be a page of the Quran.

"I've never even spoken directly to the person who put it in apart from a couple of e-mails," he said.

The pope's holy Harley sold at auction
Titanic violin sells for record price

"He said it came from an estate in Melbourne. I don't think he knew a great deal about it. How old it is, I still don't know."

The double-sided page was bought by an anonymous dealer in London who presumably knew it was worth more -- a lot more -- than the pre-auction estimate of $37 to $55 (A$40 -- A$60).

Owens had a clue it might arouse some interest. A few months ago, he sold another page of the Quran -- which he says was in worse condition -- for $27,000 (A$29,000). It had been previously bought for less than $10 at a local auction.

Since the weekend sale, half a dozen other people have emailed Owens with photos of their own tattered pages.

"I like to think we're becoming world experts without having any knowledge whatsoever," he laughed.

His auction house, Bargain Hunt Auctions, sells everything from fridges to paintings, many from deceased estates, and mostly for less than $100.

On this sale alone, the company made about $22,000 (A$24,000) in commission, before tax.

"It was a good win for everyone," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:21 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
updated 9:15 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
updated 5:36 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
updated 2:35 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
updated 1:47 PM EST, Fri November 28, 2014
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
updated 7:59 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:54 PM EST, Fri November 28, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT