June 2016 | Rebecca Rego Barry

The Archbishop of Canterbury's 15th-Century Register at Auction

Coming to auction in London on July 6 is this vellum register apparently made for Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1454-1486. The volume contains a Sarum calendar, Gospel extracts, and lists of churches, chapels, and religious houses in the diocese of Canterbury, as well as other administrativia (yes, in Latin). It is embellished by one large illuminated initial and smaller red and blue penwork initials, some incorporating drawings of monks' heads. Numerous 16th- and 17th-century inscriptions and doodles cover blank spaces in the manner of an autograph album.

Canterbury.pngSotheby's, which will offer the register alongside 70 other medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, calls it "A remarkable witness to the administration of Canterbury Cathedral, England's most important medieval religious foundation." The estimate is £5,000-7,000 ($7,200-10,000).

Image via Sotheby's.