"Law's Picture Books" Published

Yale.JPGTalbot Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of an important new title: “Illustrated law books” may seem like an oxymoron. After all, law is conceptual, analytic, and so very wordy! Yet for the past decade, over a thousand illustrated law books have been assembled in the Yale Law Library - spanning eight centuries and four continents. Law’s Picture Books began as a major exhibition of that collection at the Grolier Club (9/13 to 11/18/17) in New York City, curated by Rare Book Librarian Michael Widener and legal historian Mark S. Weiner. In challenging the stereotype of legal literature as a dreary expanse of dry text, this book will surprise and delight both bibliophiles and members of the legal community.

This handsome full-color book is enhanced by Michael Widener’s essay “Collecting Yale Law Library’s Picture Books,” Mark S. Weiner’s “Reflections on an Exhibition,” Jolande E. Goldberg’s “Ars Memoria in Early Law: Looking Beneath the Picture” and Erin C. Blake’s “Law’s Picture Books and the History of Book Illustration.”

Law’s Picture Books

The Yale Law Library Collection

Michael Widener Mark S. Weiner

Paperback, full color, vii, 211 pp., 9”x 9” ISBN 978-1-61619-160-3 $39.95

 

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the nation's leading auction houses, will expand its regional reach to Atlanta, Georgia. With headquarters in Chicago, this will be the firm's eighth location in addition to Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale and St. Louis. 

Mary Calhoun has been hired as director of business development for the location. Calhoun is a civic leader who sits on the board of numerous local organizations and helps to coordinate some of their largest annual events. These organizations include the Atlanta Opera, the Trust for Public Land, Atlanta History Center, Cherokee Garden Library and Cherokee Garden Club.

Calhoun spent seven years at Sotheby's New York in a number of business development and marketing roles. Notably, she oversaw marketing initiatives for the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Duke and Duchess of Windsor collections.

"I'm thrilled to bring my years of experience to Leslie Hindman Auctioneers as the firm grows in Atlanta," said Mary Calhoun. "With the recent hiring of Michael Shapiro, former Director at the High Museum of Art, I'm excited to help bring the exceptional service and reach of an international auction firm to Atlanta." 

Regarding Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' expansion into Atlanta, Michael Shapiro, who joined the firm as a Senior Advisor, said, "Leslie has created one of America's leading auction houses, and I look forward to helping Leslie Hindman Auctioneers continue to flourish."

At Sotheby's Calhoun worked closely with management teams, specialists in numerous categories and all areas of client service. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Classical Languages from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. 

"We plan on making Atlanta a major auction center," said Leslie Hindman, founder and CEO of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. "We are delighted that Michael Shapiro and Mary Calhoun will lead our efforts in building a hub for the entire Southeast."

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is a globally recognized brand with eight national offices and over 60 auctions conducted annually in collecting categories such as fine jewelry and timepieces, contemporary art, 20th century design, rare books, furniture, decorative arts and more. They work with buyers and sellers across the globe, connecting with millions of collectors through each auction conducted. For more information, please contact Jim Sharp at (312) 280-1212.

About Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is among the leading fine art auction houses of the world and one of the largest in the country. As a globally recognized brand, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers conducts over 60 auctions annually in categories such as fine jewelry and timepieces, contemporary art, modern design, rare books, furniture, decorative arts and more. The firm has salerooms and business offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale and St. Louis but connects with millions of collectors worldwide through online resources and global listings. The firm is also a founding partner of Bidsquare, a live auction platform formed by six leading auction houses, and owns a proprietary online bidding platform, LHLive, as well as LHExchange, an e-commerce site specializing in high-end designer furniture and decorative arts. Visit www.lesliehindman.com for more information.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 8.24.11 AM.pngLOS ANGELES - The Getty Museum will exhibit a rare drawing by one of history’s most admired artists, Michelangelo, for a limited time from September 20 through October 29, 2017. The drawing was part of a landmark group of 16 drawings and one painting acquired by the Getty Museum in July of this year.

Study of a Mourning Woman, ca. 1500-05, by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) made headlines after it was rediscovered in the collection at Castle Howard in 1995. Before then, it had been hidden among other treasures in the family collection, unknown to scholars for hundreds of years. This is the first time the drawing has been exhibited in a museum since its rediscovery. 

“Michelangelo’s drawing is the supernova among a collection of some 16 extraordinarily rare and important drawings recently acquired by the Getty,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Michelangelo is rightly regarded as one of the very greatest painters, sculptors, architects, and draftsmen in history, and it was important to me that the people of Los Angeles and other visitors to the Getty have the opportunity to view this exquisite addition to our collection before it is shown elsewhere.”

Following its presentation at the Getty, the drawing will be loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for the exhibition Michelangelo: Divine Draftsmen and Designer opening November 13.

Michelangelo’s powerful pen and ink study of a mourning woman exemplifies his extraordinary talent for monumental figural conceptions. It is characterized by dense hatching and crosshatching in brown ink, with highlights of white lead. The figure is seen in profile and dressed in a full-length robe worn by women of antiquity as depicted in Renaissance painting. Her pose and attitude reflect the mourning figures often found in paintings of Christ’s deposition from the cross or a lamentation. 

“With a sculptor’s three-dimensional conception of space, Michelangelo here depicts a solidly monumental single figure of a type for which he became famous,” said Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings at the Getty Museum. “This immensely powerful work is a new linchpin in our Italian Renaissance collections and a superb example of the artist’s talent and creativity.”

The drawing represents the pinnacle of a group of pen and ink drawings made early in Michelangelo’s career, at a pivotal moment when his fame as a sculptor was also spreading to dramatic painted compositions. While there is no known Michelangelo project that includes this figure, the design was nevertheless known to a number of the artist’s contemporaries. Examples of figures directly inspired by Study of a Mourning Woman can be found in a manuscript page in the Farnese Hours by Giulio Clovio (1498-1578), and drawings by Lorenzo Sabatini (c. 1530-1576) and Francesco Salviati (1510-1563).

For this special presentation, the drawing will be displayed in the Getty Museum’s North Pavilion, on the second floor gallery devoted to Italian Renaissance paintings. It will go on view again at the Getty in January 2018, when it returns from the Michelangelo exhibition at the Met, alongside the other recently acquired drawings and Jean Antoine Watteau’s painting La Surprise, 1721.

LH Map.jpgJ.T. Palmatary's rare birds-eye view of pre-fire Chicago sold just shy of $200,000 in Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' September 13 Fine Books and Manuscripts auction conducted in Chicago. It was printed in 1857 by Braunhold & Sonne and is one of four known copies. The three other copies are held by the Library of Congress, the Newberry Library and the Chicago History Museum. 

The example offered by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers was the only known obtainable copy of the map in private hands. Having sold to a collector in Chicago, it remains in private hands. 

"As the map is one of only four known copies, we're thrilled that it sold to a Chicago area collector," said Gretchen Hause, Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Palmatary is known for his aerial views of cities. The birds-eye view of Chicago was completed just one year after the Illinois Central Railroad was built, which appears in the foreground of the map. Another notable feature is an area called "The Sands," visible in the lower right-hand corner. Notorious in its time, the area was known for having a high concentration of brothels, gambling dens, saloons and inexpensive motels. In 1871, during the Great Chicago Fire, the Sands became a point of refuge for displaced Chicagoans. Palmatary detailed notable places in the city, as depicted on the map via a lower margin legend. The view includes street names, homes, churches and points of industrial interest. 

"The market remains strong for rare material in excellent condition. Both of these things contributed to the high price realized for Palmatary's Chicago map," said Hause.

The Fine Books and Manuscripts department is now accepting consignments for its December auction. Visit lesliehindman.com for additional information.

About Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the world¹s foremost fine art auction houses, has been providing exceptional service and achieving record prices since 1982. With more salerooms in the United States than any other auction house, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers conducts over 60 auctions annually in categories such as fine jewelry and timepieces, contemporary art, modern design, rare books, furniture, decorative arts and more. The firm has salerooms and business offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale and Saint Louis but connects with millions of collectors worldwide through online resources and global listings. The firm is also a founding partner of Bidsquare, a live auction platform formed by six leading auction houses, and owns a proprietary online bidding platform, LHLive, as well as LHExchange, an e-commerce site specializing in high-end designer furniture and decorative arts. Visit www.lesliehindman.com for more information.

BOSTON, MA - Princess Diana's sterling silver card case sold for $20,974 according to Boston-MA based RR Auction

The case was among belongings Diana had personally donated to charity months before her death on Aug. 31, 1997.

Engraved on the front, "Diana," and was given to her as a gift by her 'Granny.' The handsome case has a lovely, ornate design on the exterior with leather card pockets inside. 

"What makes these items incredibly special is the strong sentimental value they offer, many coming directly from Princess Diana," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

03f56192e1c88311047152bd37d9e2d3a35b23d5.jpegHighlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Diana’s hand-written French vocabulary book from her time at a Swiss finishing school sold for $15,204. 

A 17-inch (43-centimeter) silver necklace with a capital "D'' charm that Diana is thought to have worn as a teen sold for $8,893. 

Princess Diana and Mother Teresa photo and signature display sold for $8,636. 

A casual white sweater likely worn in Diana’s teenage years sold for $8,572. 

Princess Diana's elegant black metal mesh handbag sold for $7,411. 

Princess Diana signed Red Cross photograph sold for $7,136. 

Princess Diana sterling silver perfume bottle sold for $6,270. 

A silver locket containing a photograph of Princess Diana and her sons Prince Harry, and Prince William sold for $6,209.

The Princess Diana Tribute auction from RR Auction concluded on September 13.  More details including results can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

Princess Diana's French Lesson Book With Extensive Handwriting

Remarkable circa 1978 handwritten French vocabulary notebook from her time at Swiss finishing school, marked on the front cover in her own hand, "Diana Spencer, Madame Fowls Vocabulaire, Articles de Fowlor." 

Inside are a total of 19 pages full of handwritten notes (most double-sided), plus a couple of additional lines, consisting of translations of vocab words from French to English. 

Affixed throughout are small photocopies of short French articles, apparently used in her class. 

Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Sally Fell, the head chef at Althorp, in part: "I was employed as head chef at Althorp House during the 1980s when Diana, Princess of Wales, was a regular visitor. 

During this period Raine Spencer was in the process of totally redecorating Althorp in her own style. As Diana now permanently resided in London, one of the rooms listed for redecoration was her old bedroom and the butler at the time, Carl Ackerman, was instructed to remove all of Diana's belongings and offer them to the staff, or dispose of them if no interest was shown. All the items were placed on a long table in the courtyard, and we the staff were invited to take what we wished, which is how I came to possess Diana's French vocabulary school book." 

“We know of only one other example of Diana's schoolbooks to be held in private hands,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Diana attended Institut Alpin Videmanette, a finishing school in Rougemont, Switzerland, for one term in 1977-1978. It was during this period that she was first introduced to Prince Charles, who was dating her older sister Sarah. Their relationship lasted only briefly before dissolving over some of Sarah's comments reported in the gossip columns. 

Diana and Charles's relationship blossomed in 1980, and they got married in 1981. 

“It’s a truly remarkable Diana piece, filled with her teenage handwriting,” said Livingston. Executive VP at RR Auction. 

 

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - On September 21, Artbook @ MoMA PS1 opens the doors to a larger, newly designed location on the first floor of the museum, featuring dedicated space for programming organized in collaboration with MoMA PS1.

Coinciding with the New York Art Book Fair, September 21-24, 2017, the space's opening events include signings with Christian Wassmann, Debi Cornwall, Katherine Bernhardt and Sascha Braunig, and magazine issue launches with BOMB and OSMOS. Artbook @ MoMA PS1 is also proud to host a celebration for the new facsimile of Depero’s Bolted Book published by Designers and Books. For a complete, up-to-date event schedule, please visit us online at www.artbook.com/momaps1.

Also during the fair, internationally recognized artist’s book maker Jan Voss will be the featured artist hosted by the new Artbook Atelier within the space. A unique print shop, the Artbook Atelier will commission artists to design “unlimited” limited editions that will be produced "on-site and on-demand" for finite periods of time. Customers will be able to request commissioned prints by the yard on a variety of papers. Each edition will be printed on demand for one year, after which Artbook Atelier will declare and cap the edition size.

As part of MoMA PS1 and the community, Artbook has a special bond with Greater New York and Long Island City in particular, and continues to welcome neighborhood residents and families. Ongoing programs developed with the museum's curatorial team will make Artbook @ MoMA PS1 a hub for the community.

In the fall, Artbook @ MoMA PS1 opens its new children's book area, where kids will have a space of their own to play and discover new and classic children's titles. A cozy maze of low shelves housing a world of books recognizable to children as their own, this space will become an ongoing focal point of the new store. An adjacent area with comfortable seating will be filled with lush greenery provided by The Sill, a plant shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

In the winter, Artbook @ MoMA PS1 will unveil another new section: a world-class selection of rare art and photography books that will complement its acclaimed offering of titles on contemporary art, theory, and visual culture. Continuing our decade-long partnership with the museum, we will continue to stock titles from publishers large and small, and from imprints based locally as well as internationally.

As visitors return to Artbook over the months and years to come, they will discover that the space looks a little bit different each time. In fact, Artbook @ MoMA PS1 has been specially designed to encourage fluidity in its layout, enabling this dynamic environment to accommodate different kinds of events, panel discussions, workshops, and experimental programming. With its carefully-conceived, flexible configuration, the new space embraces and supports MoMA PS1’s mission to serve as a catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses, and trends in contemporary art.

Both a world-class art bookstore and an inviting public space for museum programs, Artbook @ MoMA PS1 welcomes international, American, and local visitors; artists as well as students; and readers steeped in art theory alongside people coming to contemporary art for the first time.

"We are thrilled to be partnering not only with the curatorial team at MoMA PS1 but also with the Long Island City community, Greater New York City, and local artists," says founder Skuta Helgason. "We look forward to becoming a hub for book-focused events, artist-centered programs, and community partnerships. It makes our day when we see someone browsing the shelves and discovering an artist for the first time."

“It is so important to give books, their covers, and their content a physical and visual presence in a space beyond the internet. Once a year, MoMA PS1 is completely filled with books for the New York Art Book Fair, but with the newly expanded book space, Artbook @ MoMA PS1, we can offer a dedicated home for books and related programs throughout the year,” added Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at the Museum of Modern Art. “Visitors can browse and experience this environment of inspiration, discovery, surprise, and discussion, looking over the surfaces of books displayed generously like a landscape, open them and go deeper into their content, and even participate in programs—which is more than what is possible at any other space in New York City. We are filling an urgent need in the creative community.”

ABOUT ARTBOOK

Artbook LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of D.A.P. / Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., the world's largest distributor of books and museum catalogs on art, photography, architecture, and design. In addition to the bookstore at MoMA PS1, Artbook also runs the acclaimed magazine store in the entry Kiosk to the museum on Jackson Avenue.

Other Artbook store locations include:

  • Artbook @ Hauser Wirth, Los Angeles, CA
  • Artbook @ Walker, Minneapolis, MN

And art fairs:

  • Artbook @ Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, FL
  • Artbook @ Design Miami, Miami, FL
  • Artbook @ Frieze NY, New York, NY
  • Artbook @ New York Art Book Fair, New York, NY
  • Artbook @ The LA Art Book Fair, Los Angeles, CA

Online, artbook.com offers an ever-expanding selection of art, photography, architecture, and design titles from world-class museums and galleries, international imprints, and small presses.

MS. Sansk_d.14_16v copy.jpgOXFORD, 14 September 2017 - The origin of the symbol zero has long been one of the world’s greatest mathematical mysteries. Today, new carbon dating research commissioned by the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries into the ancient Indian Bakhshali manuscript, held at the Bodleian, has revealed it to be hundreds of years older than initially thought, making it the world’s oldest recorded origin of the zero symbol that we use today.

The surprising results of the first ever radiocarbon dating conducted on the Bakhshali manuscript, a seminal mathematical text which contains hundreds of zeroes, reveal that it dates from as early as the 3rd or 4th century - approximately five centuries older than scholars previously believed. This means that the manuscript in fact predates a 9th century inscription of zero on the wall of a temple in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, which was previously considered to be the oldest recorded example of a zero used as a placeholder in India. The findings are highly significant for the study of the early history of mathematics.

The zero symbol that we use today evolved from a dot that was used in ancient India and can be seen throughout the Bakhshali manuscript. The dot was originally used as a ‘placeholder’, meaning it was used to indicate orders of magnitude in a number system - for example, denoting 10s, 100s and 1000s.

While the use of zero as a placeholder was seen in several different ancient cultures, such as among the ancient Mayans and Babylonians, the symbol in the Bakhshali manuscript is particularly significant for two reasons. Firstly, it is this dot that evolved to have a hollow centre and became the symbol that we use as zero today. Secondly, it was only in India that this zero developed into a number in its own right, hence creating the concept and the number zero that we understand today - this happened in 628 AD, just a few centuries after the Bakhshali manuscript was produced, when the Indian astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta wrote a text called Brahmasphutasiddhanta, which is the first document to discuss zero as a number.

Although the Bakhshali manuscript is widely acknowledged as the oldest Indian mathematical text, the exact age of the manuscript has long been the subject of academic debate. The most authoritative academic study on the manuscript, conducted by Japanese scholar Dr Hayashi Takao, asserted that it probably dated from between the 8th and the 12th century, based on factors such as the style of writing and the literary and mathematical content. The new carbon dating reveals that the reason why it was previously so difficult for scholars to pinpoint the Bakhshali manuscript’s date is because the manuscript, which consists of 70 fragile leaves of birch bark, is in fact composed of material from at least three different periods.

Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, said:

‘Today we take it for granted that the concept of zero is used across the globe and is a key building block of the digital world. But the creation of zero as a number in its own right, which evolved from the placeholder dot symbol found in the Bakhshali manuscript, was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics.

‘We now know that it was as early as the 3rd century that mathematicians in India planted the seed of the idea that would later become so fundamental to the modern world. The findings show how vibrant mathematics have been in the Indian sub-continent for centuries.’

 Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, said:

‘Determining the date of the Bakhshali manuscript is of vital importance to the history of mathematics and the study of early South Asian culture and these surprising research results testify to the subcontinent’s rich and longstanding scientific tradition. The project is an excellent example of the cutting-edge research conducted by the Bodleian’s Heritage Science team, together with colleagues across Oxford University, which uncovers new information about the treasures in our collections to help inform scholarship across disciplines.’ 

The Bakhshali manuscript was found in 1881, buried in a field in a village called Bakhshali, near Peshawar, in what is now a region of Pakistan. It was found by a local farmer and was acquired by the Indologist AFR Hoernle, who presented it to the Bodleian Library in 1902, where it has been kept since.

An academic paper about the results, conducted at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, is currently being prepared for publication. A short video about the research results can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV_gXGTuWxY&feature=youtu.be 

A folio from the Bakhshali manuscript will go on public display at the Science Museum in London as a centrepiece of the major exhibition Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science and Innovation, opening 4 October 2017. The exhibition will celebrate India’s central role in the history of science and technology by exploring its influential contributions to subjects as diverse as space exploration, mathematics, communication and engineering.

Image: Carbon dating has revealed that folio 16 from the 70-page Bakhshali manuscript dates from 224-383 AD. This is therefore one of the earliest known examples of the use of zero (written as a dot) used as a placeholder, i.e. the use of zero to indicate orders of magnitude in a number system.

Lincoln Ferro.jpgDALLAS, Texas (Sept. 12, 2017) - A rare and exceptional Abraham Lincoln: Life-size Portrait by Penrhyn Stanlaws (est. $1,500+) is just one of the many standout lots featured in Heritage Auctions’ Dec. 2 Americana & Political auction. Consignments of quality material relating to the life and times of Abraham Lincoln are being accepted until Oct. 11, 2017. The auction comes a year after Heritage’s $2.4 million special auction dedicated to the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.

The 25-by-30-inch oil-on-canvas is a half-length portrait of Lincoln, seemingly modeled on the Feb. 9, 1864 photograph by Mathew Brady, clutching a green cloak. The portrait is considered one of the most accurate images of Lincoln ever created.

Stanlaws used several references to complete the artwork: Volk's Lincoln life mask of 1860, physical descriptions (including that given by Lincoln himself), 120 photographs of Lincoln and one description "given me personally by an usher in Ford's Theatre on that fateful night."

Two more bronze likenesses of Lincoln on offer in the auction include an 11-inch bust of our 16th president (est. $2,500+), signed "Jo Davidson 1943" on back of Lincoln's collar. One of the preeminent sculptors of his time, Davidson’s unique piece in that he traditionally only worked from live subjects. “To complete this bust in a way that would have been satisfactory to him must have been a great struggle - he strived to capture not only a subject’s likeness but character as well. It is a really unique piece that is not a typical example of Davidson’s method,” said Don Ackerman, Consignment Director for Heritage Auctions.

The second bronze is an approximately 24-inch tall life-sized bust of Abraham Lincoln by Louis Mayer (est. $10,000+). The piece is signed on the side by the artist: "Louis Mayer © 1916", and has a lovely, greenish-brown patina with excellent detail. This marks the first time Heritage ever has sold a full-body Mayer statue of Lincoln.

Not to be outdone, the auction also holds a Lincoln & Hamlin: Ferrotype Jugate (est. $3,000+), inscribed in small letters below the busts "Lincoln and Hamlin" in near-mint condition.

To consign your material to be auctioned alongside these items Dec. 2, visit Heritage Auctions’ Historical Americana portal to meet the Oct. 11, 2017 consignment deadline.

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

mostyn-add-ms-89250-f052r copy.jpgA rare and beautiful Psalter - a volume of psalms - produced in thirteenth-century London has been acquired by the British Library. The Mostyn Psalter-Hours was acquired for the nation with a grant of £390,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and funding from other generous supporters.

The book includes a calendar, decorated with twenty miniatures of the labours of the months and the signs of the Zodiac, and a Psalter with eight of the original ten large historiated initials, the Hours of the Virgin, and the Office of the Dead.

The manuscript can be identified securely as having been produced in London, and is one of relatively few surviving examples of luxury books known to have been made in the capital during the medieval period. Its calendar features a sequence of London saints - including the seventh-century bishops of London, Melitus and Erkenwald - and the feast of the translation of Edward the Confessor in Westminster in 1269. 

The manuscript’s original patron is unknown, but its high quality illumination - where text sits alongside highly decorative letters and illustrations - indicates that it was made for an important individual - possibly a bishop, as an image of a bishop appears in the illustration for Psalm 101, which is where a donor portrait might be expected.     

“The Mostyn Psalter-Hours is an outstanding example of English illumination of the highest quality and represents a crucial piece of evidence for the history of English painting,” said Kathleen Doyle, Lead Curator, Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library. “Because the manuscript is localised to London, it is a critical focus around which to group other manuscripts - of Psalter texts and others - in a Westminster/London context, and to compare with books made in other centres. The addition of the Mostyn Psalter to the British Library’s collections will facilitate identification of London-based scribes and artists in other manuscripts. Similarly, the representation of the possible patron within the book will also help shed light on the process of creating such luxury books.”

The purchase price of the manuscript was £775,000 and was supported by a contribution of £390,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, along with support from the Art Fund, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement, the late Bernard Breslauer, the Friends of the British Library, and the Friends of the National Libraries.

John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said: “This important thirteenth-century manuscript was produced in London so it is fitting that it will now go on display at the British Library. I am pleased that this rare work has been saved for the nation through a generous donation from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and that the manuscript will be digitised and available for all to enjoy.”

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of NHMF, said: “The Mostyn Psalter-Hours is quite simply exquisite. What makes it particularly special is that we are able to trace its production back to thirteenth-century London and with just a few luxury books produced in the capital during this period still remaining, it’s a rare survival. The National Heritage Memorial Fund was set-up to save the UK’s most precious heritage at risk and so we felt it imperative this treasure should be safeguarded for future generations to study and enjoy.”

“We are hugely grateful to the NHMF and for the generous support of all the other funders, for making this important acquisition possible,” said Scot McKendrick, Head of Western Heritage Collections. “The British Library holds the world’s largest collection of medieval English Psalters and current and future generations of scholars will be able to study the Mostyn Psalter-Hours alongside other notable examples from the period.”

The manuscript has been digitised and is available to view on the Library’s Digitised Manuscripts website. It will also be placed on display in the Library’s Sir John Ritblat Treasures gallery (which is open seven days a week), after which it will be available to scholars in the Library’s Manuscripts Reading Room.

Image: lluminated page from the Mostyn Psalter-Hours (Add MS 89250 folio 52r).

The September 9, 2017 sale at National Book Auctions featured a wide array of books and ephemera, with particular focus on children's literature and modern firsts.

A signed first edition of Roald Dahl's "Boy" brought $1,187 against a high estimate of $500 and a signed first edition of Stephen King's "IT" brought $1,000 against a high estimate of $400, likely due to renewed curiosity surrounding the release of the major motion picture adaptation.

The sale also featured colonial American pamphlets, vintage science fiction pulp magazines, cased ambrotype portraits, illustration art, and vellum volumes dating back to the early 17th century.

Further complementary material will be offered in future sessions throughout the fall and winter of 2017. For more information on bidding or consigning, email evan@worthauctions.com or call 607-279-0607.

Auction Guide