The Dyson Perrins Collection : Part I : Catalogue of forty-five exceptionally important illuminated manuscripts of the 9th to the 18th century, a Block book, and four printed books § Part II : Catalogue of forty-six Western and Oriental illuminated manuscripts § Part III : Catalogue of fifty-nine illuminated manuscripts (catalogues for auctions conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 9 December 1958-29 November 1962) View larger
Sotheby & Co. (London)

The Dyson Perrins Collection : Part I : Catalogue of forty-five exceptionally important illuminated manuscripts of the 9th to the 18th century, a Block book, and four printed books § Part II : Catalogue of forty-six Western and Oriental illuminated manuscripts § Part III : Catalogue of fifty-nine illuminated manuscripts (catalogues for auctions conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 9 December 1958-29 November 1962)

London, Sotheby & Co., 1958-1962
Three volumes (28.5-29.5 cm), I (9 December 1958): 107 (1) pp., frontispiece-portrait, 6 colour plates (pls.A-F), 55 p. of black & white plates (pls.1-55). Lots numbered 1-50. II (1 December 1959): 109 (1) pp., colour frontispiece (lot 58), 5 colour plates (pls.A-E), 48 p. of black & white plates (pls.1-48, some folding). Lots numbered 51-96. List of prices realised and buyers’ names loosely inserted. III (29 November 1962): 137 (1) pp., 6 colour plates (pls.A-F, with A bound as frontispiece), 64 p. of black & white plates (pls.1-64). Lots numbered 97-155. Publisher’s printed boards. - Magnificent collection of illuminated manuscripts, almost all gathered between 1900 and 1920 (33 had been purchased en bloc in 1906 from Fairfax Murray); “Already in 1908, when the Burlington Fine Arts Club held its famous exhibition, fifty of Mr Perrins’s MSS. were selected for inclusion in it” (Percy Muir, “Private Libraries, XXIV: Mr C.W. Dyson Perrins, I: The Illuminated Manuscripts” in The Times Literary Supplement, 17 February 1940, p.92). “Perrins was a collector of the vintage and calibre of Yates Thompson, Fairfax Murray and Pierpont Morgan – giants beside whom even Sir Sydney Cockerell and St John Hornby seem of human size – and one whose place such contemporary collectors of Mss as Dr Martin Bodmer, Mr William S. Glazier and Major J.R. Abbey can hardly aspire to fill… There are, indeed, fine Renaissance Mss still on the shelves at Holkham and other English and Scottish houses. It is theoretically possible that the Bibliothèque Nationale or the Bodleian or the Morgan Library might go bankrupt and be sold up; but to the extent that any department of bibliophily depends on the periodic return to the market of treasures which nowadays gravitate ever more frequently to institutional ownership, this sale, and the two to come may well prove to be not merely a landmark but a terminal” (The Book Collector, Winter 1958, pp.354-355). ¶ Very good copies.
Subjects
Auction sale catalogues - Books - 1958
Auction sale catalogues - Books - 1958-1962
Auction sale catalogues - Books - 1959
Auction sale catalogues - Books - 1962
Illumination of books and manuscripts - Collections, UK - Perrins (Charles William Dyson), 1864-1958
Authors/Creators
Sotheby & Co. (London)
Owners
Perrins, Charles William Dyson, 1864-1958
Auction date
19581209
19591201
19621129
  • This collection contains

  • Sotheby & Co. (London)

    The Dyson Perrins Collection : Part I : Catalogue of forty-five exceptionally important illuminated manuscripts of the 9th to the 18th century, a Block book, and four printed books, the property of the late C.W. Dyson Perrins, Esq., DCL, FSA, sold by order of the executors (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 9 December 1958)

    London, Sotheby & Co., 1958
    (29 cm), 107 (1) pp., frontispiece-portrait, 6 colour plates (pls.A-F), 55 p. of black & white plates (pls.1-55). Lots numbered 1-50. Publisher’s printed boards. - The first of three sales of this famous collection of European and Oriental manuscripts, formed by Perrins with the proceeds from the sale of Worcestershire sauce. Kraus bought a mid-12th century Gospels illuminated at the Abbey of Helmarhausen for £39,000, at that time the highest amount ever paid in sterling for a single book; he also purchased a 13th-century Bestiary from north-eastern France, for £36,500. In his inimitable way, Kraus described these purchases after the sale as “bargains”, stating that he had been prepared to bid twice as much for the Gospels. That manuscript is described in Kraus’ In Retrospect: 100 outstanding manuscripts sold in the last four decades (New York 1978), item 17; sold to Peter and Irene Ludwig; it is now Getty Museum, Ms Ludwig II 3. The Bestiary appeared in Kraus’ catalogue Monumenta codicum manuscriptorum (1974), item 21; also sold to Ludwig, it too entered the Getty Museum in 1983. Perrins had bequeathed two of his most important manuscripts to the British Museum: the 14th-century Gorleston Psalter (Add Ms 49622) and the Khamsa of Nizami (Or 12208); in addition, the Museum was able to acquire for £37,250 eight European manuscripts. John Carter, “The Dyson Perrins Manuscripts” in The Times Literary Supplement, 26 December 1958, p.756. Cf. Graham Pollard, “C.W. Dyson Perrins” (obituary), in The Library, volume 13 (1958), p.129. ¶ Small spot on upper cover; boards rubbed. No Price list.
  • Sotheby & Co. (London)

    The Dyson Perrins Collection : Part II : Catalogue of forty-six Western and Oriental illuminated manuscripts (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 1 December 1959)

    London, Sotheby & Co., 1959
    (29.5 cm), 109 (1) pp., colour frontispiece (lot 58), 5 colour plates (pls.A-E), 48 p. of black & white plates (pls.1-48, some folding). Lots numbered 51-96. List of prices realised and buyers’ names loosely inserted. Publisher’s printed boards. - The outstanding manuscript was the 13th-century Apocalypse written and illuminated at St Albans Abbey, for which Kraus paid £65,000, a new record price for a manuscript in the auction salerooms (it is now Getty Museum, MS Ludwig III 1). The finest of the French manuscripts was a Paris Psalter of about 1260 which by the early 14th-century was in Hungary, possibly in the possession of Wenceslaus III, King of Bohemia; for this Kraus gave £26,000 (now Getty Museum, MS Ludwig VIII 4). Witten bought for £22,000 a Bury St Edmonds illuminated Bible (his Catalogue 5, item 11, $75,000); it returned to the market in Sotheby’s, 4 December 2007, lot 45 (consigned by Dr H.F. Jossi-Debrunner), where it was acquired by Jörn Günther (his Catalogue 9, item 5). ¶ Fine unmarked copy, with the rare List of prices realised and buyers’ names loosely inserted.
  • Sotheby & Co. (London)

    The Dyson Perrins Collection : Part III : Catalogue of fifty-nine illuminated manuscripts (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby & Co., London, 29 November 1962)

    London, Sotheby & Co., 1962
    (28.5 cm), 137 (1) pp., 6 colour plates (pls.A-F, with A bound as frontispiece), 64 p. of black & white plates (pls.1-64). Lots numbered 97-155. List of prices realised and buyers’ names loosely inserted. Publisher’s printed boards. - The 59 lots brought £268,720. “Although Mr. Kraus once again dominated the sale (nine lots, £123,050)… he had plenty of determined competition. Among the fifty-nine lots there were more than a score of buyers, prominent among them being Messrs. Maggs (nine lots), Messrs. Quaritch (five lots), Messrs. Dawson (four) and Mr. Alan G. Thomas (three), with major J.R. Abbey (three) keeping the amateur flag at least fluttering among the serried ranks of the international trade” (from “Notes on Sales, in The Times Literary Supplement, 9 December 1960, p.803). A thirteenth-century Psalter made the highest price of the day, selling for £62,000 to Kraus, underbid by representatives of Baden-Württemberg (cf. Kraus Catalogue 100, New York 1962, item 6; In Retrospect: 100 outstanding manuscripts sold in the last four decades, New York 1978, item 25). The manuscript was returned to Sotheby’s, The Beck Collection of Illuminated Manuscripts, 16 June 1997, lot 11. ¶ Fine unmarked copy, with the rare List of prices realised and buyers’ names loosely inserted.
Top