Dr Timothy Bolton's Inaugural Western Manuscripts & Miniatures Sale

at Bloomsbury Auctions illustrates the History of Writing and Illuminating Books

LONDON, Dover Street - With Dr Timothy Bolton at the helm, the inaugural Western Manuscripts & Miniatures sale at Bloomsbury Auctions on Wednesday 8th July is a journey through the history of writing and illuminating books in exactly 100 lots. The auction, which spans four millennia and a vast swathe of human experience, will be held at Ely House, 37 Dover Street.

Dr Timothy Bolton, Head of Western Manuscripts & Miniatures said;"We want to bring the ownership of these beautiful and fascinating objects to new buyers as well as the traditional collectors. It is my belief that no private library can call itself complete without a medieval book on its shelves and no home fully furnished without at least one illuminated miniature on its walls."

Dr Bolton has been a leading figure in the field of medieval manuscripts for nearly a decade and this, his first sale with Bloomsbury Auctions since leaving Sotheby's, is filled with exceptional works from this specialist area, including a sixth-century fragment of the oldest surviving copy of St. Augustine's writings on the Gospel of John, and a riotously illuminated fourteenth-century prayerbook with boar-hunts, rabbits, dogs and even a kitten dressed as a scholar reading a book in its borders.

In addition, there is a fine cuneiform barrel, made around 1785 BC and listing the glorious achievements of King Sin-Iddinam of Larsak; a ninth-century witness to an otherwise lost Old Testament codex (with parts of Isaiah); an eleventh-century relic list from Merseburg Cathedral; a portable Gradual of the first half of the thirteenth century still in its contemporary binding over seven centuries after it was written; an extremely rare sixteenth-century polyphonic music fragment; and a German language astronomical-medical text with charming miniatures illustrating the zodiac and astronomy on every page.

The auction is accessible to buyers at all price points with both grand and opulent medieval books and miniatures, as well as numerous affordable examples of medieval cuttings and documents, including an entire section of medieval vernaculars (including French, Spanish, Low German, Middle English and Bohemian Czech) each available for a few hundred to a few thousand pounds.


Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a UK 'top 5' auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. As part of Stanley Gibbons we are the only UK stock-exchange listed firm of auctioneers and occupy the same stable as coin specialists Baldwin's, and Frasers Autograph's. Established in 1759, we have the broadest and most regular calendar of specialist catalogued sales in the industry, numbering over 150 per annum, and provide vendors and buyers alike access to market-leading specialist advice in any number of collecting fields. We operate from salerooms in Donnington Priory (near Newbury), London's Mayfair, Bristol and Godalming.

LONDON, Dover Street - 11th June 2015