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Medieval Book of Hours expected to sell for as much as $2.5 million at auction

MASTER OF THE PARIS BARTOLOMEUS

Christie's

Zelda Caldwell - published on 02/19/21

The 14th-century prayer book is part of a larger collection of rare books going to auction this spring.

A 15th-century Book of Hours is expected to fetch as much as $2.5 million when it goes to auction this April.

The medieval illuminated manuscript is part of a collection of 17 medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts and 200 printed books that belonged to Elaine and Alexandre Rosenberg. Proceeds from the auction, which will be held by Christie’s in New York on April 23 will benefit the rare book department of designated museums, reported Medievalists.net.

According to the Medievalists.net, the highlight of the auction will be the Book of Hours, created around the year 1440 by the anonymous artist known as Master of the Paris Bartholomeus Anglicus.

“It’s one of the finest works of the period and it’s in pristine condition,” Eugenio Donadoni,a senior specialist in medieval and renaissance manuscripts at Christie’s London office, told Barron’s. “It’s really lavish and beautifully subtle,” he said.

The Book of Hours was a Christian devotional book popular in the Middle Ages. It typically contained colorful paintings, prayers, and a shortened form of the breviary recited in monasteries. This particular prayer book includes 16 exquisite miniature paintings, and, according to FineBooksMagazine.com, did not belong to monks or clergy, but was meant to be read by it lay owners.

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