The owner of an Irish hotel is set to sell a book described as the most influential in history for a fee of up to $50 million at an auction in May. 

Jacqui Safra, a Swiss-Lebanese investor who co-owns the Parknasilla hotel and Rossdohan Island in County Kerry, is selling the Codex Sassoon at an auction in New York in May. 

The book is the earliest and most complete version of the Hebrew Bible still in existence. 

Sotheby's Auction House, which is handling the auction, described the book as a "foundational cornerstone to civilizations and communities around the globe", adding that it is arguably the most influential book in human history. 

The Codex Sassoon is composed of 24 books divided into three parts and is regarded as the foundation for Judaism and other Abrahamic faiths, including Christianity. 

The codex, which dates back to the late ninth or early 10th century, takes its name from its most prominent owner, David Solomon Sassoon, who assembled the "most significant private collection of Judaica and Hebraica manuscripts in the world", according to Sotheby's. 

The Codex Sassoon dates back to the same period as the Aleppo Codex, which is currently housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. However, Sotheby's said the  Codex Sassoon is "significantly more complete" because two-fifths of the Aleppo Codex was lost in the 1940s. 

The two manuscripts are the only two 10th-century codices to have survived until modern times. 

Sotheby's believes the Codex Sassoon could become the most valuable historical document ever sold at auction, surpassing the current record of $43 million for one of the first printings of the US Constitution. 

The codex is on view in London until February 28, while it will also be on view at the Sotheby's Los Angeles Gallery between April 30 and May 3. It will also go on display in New York later in May. 

The exact auction date has yet to be announced. 

Sotheby's expects the codex to sell for between $30 and $50 million. 

Click here to find out more.