Winning Bids: June 2014
$13.6 Million Rothschild Prayerbook
When the Rothschild Prayerbook crossed Christie’s auction block for the first time, in 1999, it was part of a London sale of the collection of the barons Nathaniel and Albert von Rothschild. Then, it sold for $13.4 million—the highest price for any item in the collection, and a world record for an illuminated manuscript. The Rothschild Prayerbook was auctioned by Christie’s once again this past January, when it was bought by a private collector for $13.6 million after it returned from a global tour to Moscow, Hong Kong, London, and finally New York.
The Renaissance manuscript, a book of hours, was likely produced circa 1505 for a member of the Dutch royal court. This particular book is considered a masterpiece of the form for its lavish illustrations, borders, and miniatures by the most sought-after court painters of the time, among them Gerard Horenbout, who eventually relocated to England to work for King Henry VIII. —Karen Cakebread
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