Illuminated Manuscript over Six Centuries old sells for £186,000

in Dr Timothy Bolton's Inaugural Western Manuscripts & Miniatures Sale at Bloomsbury Auctions

Western Manuscripts & Miniatures
Wednesday 8th July 2015
Ely House, 37 Dover Street, London

Sale Total £706,837
77 Lots sold
100 Lots offered
77% Sold by lot

Dr Timothy Bolton commented after the sale: "We're delighted with today's result and our growing department is eager to build on these foundations. Bidding from both the room and the internet was notably energetic, and proved the market in fragments and leaves to be as strong as that for illuminated and decorated books."

Auction Highlights

The cover lot, an opulent and glittering prayerbook from fourteenth-century Metz, sold for £186,000 to a European private collector [pre-sale estimate £40,000-60,000 Lot 95]

A pocket gradual of the thirteenth-century, still in its original binding after seven centuries, sold for £32,240 [pre-sale estimate £12,000-18,000 Lot 85]

A sermon collection made in northern France c. 1400, and illuminated by artists who also worked for the grand bibliophiles King Charles V, the Duc de Berry and other members of the French royal family, and still in a late medieval binding, exceeded its high estimate and sold for £26,040 [pre-sale estimate £15,000-20,000 Lot 88]

A bifolium from a fifteenth-century manuscript in the breathtakingly rare Glagolitic Croatian script, reused on the binding of a seventeenth-century printed book, was bought by a private collector for £28,520 [pre-sale estimate £8,000-12,000 Lot 35]

Other notable fragments and leaves included a first century BC. or AD. papyrus diploma in Latin, the rarest language of the papyri, which sold for £9,920 [pre-sale estimate £8,000-12,000 Lot 7], a small scrap of a sixth-century Italian codex, which was the earliest witness to Augustine's commentaries on the Gospel of John, which made £19,840 [pre-sale estimate £20,000-30,000 Lot 8], a leaf from an early ninth-century copy of parts of the Old Testament which made £18,600 [pre-sale estimate £15,000-20,000 Lot 10], and an exceptionally rare eleventh-century relic list from Merseburg, which made £9,920 [pre-sale estimate £8,000-12,000 Lot 14].


Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions is the trading name of The Fine Art Auction Group, and is a UK 'top 4' auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. It covers all aspects of fine art and antiques, with market leading specialists in Traditional Furniture, Clocks and Paintings, Contemporary Art and Design, Modern Prints, Books and Works on Paper, Fine Jewellery and Objects of Vertu, Asian Art and Fine Wine.

Mallett Antiques, a subsidiary of The Fine Art Auction Group, is one of the oldest established antique dealers in the world, celebrating its 150 year anniversary in 2015. It specialises in the finest pieces of furniture and works of art, including pictures, clocks and other high quality objets d'art, primarily from the 18th century and Regency periods.

The business operates from two flagship showrooms, the magnificent Ely House on London's Dover Street and 929 Madison Ave (at 74th) in New York. It also boasts the picturesque country house Donnington Priory as it's Berkshire salerooms for more the more traditional auctions and a secondary London saleroom on Maddox Street that specialises in Books and Works on Paper.

LONDON, Dover Street - 9th July 2015

Press Contact: Harriette Moore | | 020 7499 7411