The Codex Fejervary Mayer was bought by Joseph Mayer, the Liverpool goldsmith and antiquarian in 1855. It had previously been in the collection of the Hungarian collector Gabriel Fejéváry. In 1867 Mayer gave his collection, including the codex to Liverpool (now World) Museum.
With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 the codex was packed in a cardboard box along with the Rameses girdle and the Kingston brooch and carried to St Martin’s Bank, near the Town Hall in Liverpool by museum attendant George Youlton. It was placed in a sealed safety deposit box and only collected after the war was over.
Its evacuation meant the codex had survived two man-made disasters. It had survived the devastating Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century and the carnage of the Second World War in 1941.