New York, Christie’s, Catalogus 23 april 2021

Illuminated Manuscripts and Early Printed Books from the Collection of Elaine and Alexandre Rosenberg

Sale Overview

Christie’s is honoured to present one of the most important collections of illuminated manuscripts and early printed books to have appeared at auction: the collection of Elaine and Alexandre P. Rosenberg. Alexandre Rosenberg, founding president of the Art Dealers Association of America, was the son of the pre-eminent French art dealer Paul Rosenberg, who represented giants of modern art such as Picasso, Matisse and Braque. Alexandre’s gallery in New York won acclaim with exhibitions that ranged from Renaissance bronzes to Cezanne and Picasso, American modernists and contemporaries from England and Italy. His wife Elaine was an influential Fellow of The Morgan Library and deeply involved with MoMA and the Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The illuminated manuscripts offered for sale represent the culmination of 15th– and 16th-century European manuscript painting. Each stands out for its jewel-like artworks, its sumptuous illumination or its understated elegance. Several were owned by some of the most important collectors of their time – from the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to Henry Yates Thompson and William Randolph Hearst. The printed books comprise the most extensive collection of incunabula offered for sale in decades: over 200 volumes printed in the 15th century, many in their original bindings, in addition to a dozen Books of Hours, mostly printed on vellum, of the early 16th century.

Sale Total USD 12,405,625

Lot 3getijdenboek (voorheen achtereenvolgens: Londen, Henry Yates Thompson, ms. 86; Dublin, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty Library, Ms W 102; Londen, Sotheby’s, Catalogus 25 juni 1914, lot 1; Londen, Sotheby’s, Catalogus 3 december 1968 (Chester Beatty), lot 31; Londen, Sotheby’s, Catalogus 13 juli 1977, lot 75; New York, Verzameling Alexandre P. Rosenberg, ms. 4)Anjou of Le Mans, ca1440-1450Meester van Barthélemy l’Anglais
Lot 15getijdenboek (voorheen achtereenvolgens: New York, Christie’s, Catalogus 20 mei 1983, lot 46; New York, Verzameling Alexandre P. Rosenberg, ms. 15)Parijs, ca 1485-1490Meester van Jacques de Besançon
Lot 16Getijdenboek van Charles V (voorheen achtereenvolgens: Londen, Sotheby’s, Catalogus 9 mei 1933 (Chester Beatty), lot 69; New York, Verzameling Alexandre P. Rosenberg, ms. 22)Gent, ca 1515Werkplaats van Gerard Horenbout