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In the market for an illuminated manuscript? Got £8 million?

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April 1, 2021, 1:35pm

On April 23, “one of the most important collections of illuminated manuscripts and early prints to have appeared at auction” will go on sale at Christie’s.

This collection, the private collection of late philanthropists and collectors Elaine and Alexandre P. Rosenberg, is expected to fetch at least £8 million. Notable among the collection: about one dozen Books of Hours, including one illuminated by the Master of the Paris Bartholomaeus Anglicus with sixteen miniature paintings, and a complete first edition of the works of Plato. And if you’ve got £8 million but feel guilty about blowing it all on Books of Hours, worry no more: as per the Rosenbergs’ wishes, their family will donate all the funds from the auction to support the rare book collections of museums.

Learn more about the collection and the Rosenbergs’ work here—or check out these heart-shaped Books of Hours, which are only tangentially related but incredibly pleasing. (I’m calling it now: 2022 is the year the heart-shaped book will make its comeback. Freed from COVID-19, fingers crossed, we’ll have a renewed focus on the tactile object—and a need for joy. Let’s make it happen, Big Five!)

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