A collection of ancient texts containing some of the earliest known writing has fetched $1.68 million at a Christie's auction.

The Erlenmeyer Collection, a comprehensive array of 230 texts dating back as much as 5,000 years, had been expected to sell for up to $1.4 million, said Christie's spokesman William Hanham.Among the outstanding sales Tuesday were an inscribed bronze vessel from 2000 B.C., which sold for $171,000 and a hollow-barreled cylinder with royal inscriptions by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, which sold for $131,000, Hanham said.

The collection had been gathered by the Swiss chemist Hans Erlenmeyer and his wife Marie-Louise.