Sotheby's (London)

The Beck Collection of Illuminated Manuscripts (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby's, London, 16 June 1997)

London, Sotheby's, 1997
(28 cm), 261 (13) pp., illustrations (most in colour). 34 lots. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s printed boards. - The sale realised £11,158,415, at the time a record price for a collection of manuscripts at auction. “Three bidders, all anonymous, scooped the pool”, one acquiring “three of the greatest manuscripts ever likely to be available”: the Carolingian Gospel book (£1m), the Psalter of Mechthild von Anhalt (£1.7m), and the Psalter St Blasien (£2.3m); the second bought the thirteenth-century Rhenish astronomic texts (£190,000), the Rothschild Bible (£42,000), and the Jacques de Longuyon, “Voeux de Paon” (£150,000); while the third bidder bought the Utrecht Book of Hours from the Cockerell and Abbey collections (£910,000), the Master of Guillebert de Mets Book of Hours (£380,000), the Popincourt Master Book of Hours (£80,000), the c. 1490 Florentine Book of Hours from the Blandford (White Knights) and Esmerian collections (£800,000). Sam Fogg was seen to buy three lots; Quaritch and Maggs one each; Günther, Ferrini and Tenschert some others (quotations from saleroom report in The Book Collector, Autumn 1997, pp.397-401). ¶ Unmarked copy.