12th century Romanesque manuscript makes $828,000

A beautifully-illustrated 12th century Romanesque manuscript sold for £542,500 ($827,992) at Sotheby's London yesterday afternoon (July 2), leading the auction house's sale of Western Manuscripts and Miniatures.

Sotheby's manuscript auction
A detail from the manuscript featuring startlingly colourful saints and angels

Almost certainly composed as one of the foundation volumes of the chapel of St Servatius in Cologne, Germany, the rare manuscript sold with an 8.5% increase on its £500,000 top estimate - testament to the strength of the market as well as the quality and condition of the historic religious text.

Thought to have been produced by Benedictine monks circa 1150, the manuscript was surrendered in 1794 when French revolutionary forces invaded Cologne, looting the city's religious institutions.

The vendor's family acquired the manuscript in Germany during the first half of the 19th century.

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