The 2 July sale of Western Manuscripts and Miniatures totalled £1,881,000. The top lot was a magnificent 12th-century collection of saints’ legends from Cologne, which sold for £542,500.
The Western Manuscripts and Miniatures sale contains a number of remarkable items, including a long-lost Middle English dictionary (lot 55), a previously unrecorded 12th-century English manuscript of Bede’sCommentary on Proverbs (lot 50), a collection of books from Beauvais Cathedral chapter, one containing an important booklist of Classical texts once in the library there (lot 51), a 13th-century illuminated Bible signed by its scribe (lot 46), and many more.
The jewels of the sale are two remarkable medieval volumes from opposite ends of the Middle Ages, each in outstanding condition. The first is a Romanesque collection of saints’ legends, made for use in the mid-12th century most probably for the chapel of St. Servatius, Cologne (lot 49). It has two full-page coloured line-drawings and is still in its early medieval, perhaps 13th-century, binding. The second is a Missal made circa 1510-20 for a French bishop, most probably by the most sought-after Parisian artist and illuminator, Jean Pichore (lot 41). It has 30 illuminated pages with miniature paintings of the greatest refinement.