Sotheby’s: London, 8 December 2015


AUCTION: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, Sotheby’s, London, 8 December 2015.

Sotheby’s is pleased to present the Property of a Private Collector, to be sold in our December Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts sale. The selection is distinguished by the Breviary of St Mathurin, a manuscript from the Gothic period of exceptional quality and considerable importance, beautifully illuminated by a follower of Jean Pucelle, the most influential illuminator in the early fourteenth century. It stands in sharp contrast to the Letters of Saint Jerome, an example for Ferrarese humanism, signed and dated by a well-known scribe, with an unusually detailed early ownership inscription, and a noble modern provenance that includes Charles Fairfax Murray, C.W. Dyson Perrins, Peter and Irene Ludwig of Aachen, and most recently the J. Paul Getty Museum.

A selection of richly illuminated Books of Hours offers a comprehensive record of late medieval painting in France and Flanders. Other single leaves with miniatures demonstrate the popularity of Books of Hours while selected examples such as the impressive leaf from a Gradual made in Germany around 1300 or the various leaves, cuttings and miniatures from Italian Renaissance manuscripts highlight the achievements of other schools. A finely painted miniature with Saint Paul in the style of Giulio Clovio is especially impressive.

The Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts sale also includes other manuscripts, single leaves and miniatures, notably a humanist manuscript of Julius Firmicus Maternus’ Matheseos Libri VIII, an astrological treatise from the classical period, made in Rome and dated 1468, but also other Books of Hours and manuscripts, a rich selection of leaves and miniatures of high quality, as well as papyrus from the fine 19th-century collection of Count Louis de Vaucelles and an Armenian prayer scroll.

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