May 1, 2024 10:00 EST

Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

 
Lot 42
 

42

An important manuscript breviary in Middle Dutch

[MANUSCRIPT]

Hier beginnen die ghetiden van den advent... [Caption title on f. 1 recto] i.e. Breviary. Antwerp?: third or fourth quarter of the 15th century. Modern red morocco in pull-off slipcase, the spine titles of book and case misidentifying the manuscript as a commonplace book, and the language as Flemish. 7 x 5 inches (18 x 12.5 cm); manuscript on vellum, 140 ff., written 31 lines to the page in two columns in brown-black ink in an elegant Gothic bookhand, text in Middle Dutch; elaborate and beautiful Lombardic and Maiblumen-style initials in the text with extensive linework decorations in red and blue extending into the margin, most of these initials two- to four-line but occasionally larger, f. 20 with a charming single-column arch-topped miniature of the Nativity (the only miniature in this manuscript). Beautifully written on very high-quality vellum and in excellent condition; there are several leaf stubs, but the text appears to be continuous and the manuscript is apparently complete. The spine bears the initials J.A.G., but we have not identified this modern owner, who from pencil notes bought the book in Copenhagen.

A very graceful manuscript indeed. Vernacular breviaries are comparatively uncommon at this period. The first leaf begins with the first Sunday in Advent. The Fourth Sunday in Advent is on p. 27; Christmas-Nativity is on p. 40, with a small but charming miniature. Palm Sunday is on p. 235, and the works ends with a section of psalms for recitation. According to a pencil note laid-in, this was purchased in Copenhagen in 1956, and bound in San Francisco in 1958

Sold for $23,040
Estimated at $15,000 - $25,000

Includes Buyer's Premium


 

[MANUSCRIPT]

Hier beginnen die ghetiden van den advent... [Caption title on f. 1 recto] i.e. Breviary. Antwerp?: third or fourth quarter of the 15th century. Modern red morocco in pull-off slipcase, the spine titles of book and case misidentifying the manuscript as a commonplace book, and the language as Flemish. 7 x 5 inches (18 x 12.5 cm); manuscript on vellum, 140 ff., written 31 lines to the page in two columns in brown-black ink in an elegant Gothic bookhand, text in Middle Dutch; elaborate and beautiful Lombardic and Maiblumen-style initials in the text with extensive linework decorations in red and blue extending into the margin, most of these initials two- to four-line but occasionally larger, f. 20 with a charming single-column arch-topped miniature of the Nativity (the only miniature in this manuscript). Beautifully written on very high-quality vellum and in excellent condition; there are several leaf stubs, but the text appears to be continuous and the manuscript is apparently complete. The spine bears the initials J.A.G., but we have not identified this modern owner, who from pencil notes bought the book in Copenhagen.

A very graceful manuscript indeed. Vernacular breviaries are comparatively uncommon at this period. The first leaf begins with the first Sunday in Advent. The Fourth Sunday in Advent is on p. 27; Christmas-Nativity is on p. 40, with a small but charming miniature. Palm Sunday is on p. 235, and the works ends with a section of psalms for recitation. According to a pencil note laid-in, this was purchased in Copenhagen in 1956, and bound in San Francisco in 1958

Auction: Rare Books, Autographs & Maps, May 1, 2024

  • Auction of Rare Books, Autographs & Maps on May 1, 2024 Totals $1.2 Million

  • A Medieval Manuscript Rules of St. Augustine Achieves $102k

  • Consignments Are Currently Being Accepted for Future Auctions


NEW YORK, NY -- Competitive bidding at Doyle’s May 1, 2024 auction of Rare Books, Autographs & Maps drove strong prices and a sale total that topped $1.2 million, surpassing expectations.

Featured in the sale was a fascinating selection of early manuscripts that achieved exceptional results. Highlighting the group was a 14th century manuscript of the Rules of St. Augustine from an English priory that soared over its $8,000-12,000 estimate to realize a stunning $102,100. The Rule of St. Augustine is among the earliest of all monastic rules, created about 400, and it was an influence on all that succeeded it. Other notable results included a 14th century Etymologiae of St. Isidore estimated at $5,000-8,000 that achieved $51,200 and a 15th century Prayer Book of Jehan Bernachier estimated at $10,000-15,000 that sold for $28,800.

A first edition of John James Audubon's octavo Birds of America sold for $41,600, far over its $25,000-35,000 estimate. Published in 1840-1844 in seven volumes, the first octavo edition was the final Birds of America publication overseen by Audubon in his lifetime.

The Fred Rotondaro Collection offered rare books and manuscripts on a range of subjects touching the African American experience in the United States over three centuries. A first edition copy of Frederick Douglass’ 1876 speech at the unveiling of the Freedman's Monument in Washington realized $12,800, far exceeding its $3,000-5,000 estimate. A first edition of the first issue of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin from 1852 also achieved $12,800.

Highlighting the range of offerings from the Ken Harte Collection of Natural History was a first edition Richard Bowdler Sharpe’s beautifully illustrated monograph of Kingfishers, 1868-71, that sold for $14,080, doubling its $6,000-8,000 estimate. It was accompanied by an inscribed copy of the rare unfinished chapter on the anatomy of the kingfisher by James Murie.


We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for future auctions. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our Specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection.

For information, please contact Peter Costanzo at 212-427-4141 ext 248, Edward Ripley-Duggan at ext 234, or Noah Goldrach at ext 226, or email Books@Doyle.com

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