Illuminated book of hours hammers for $361,500 at Sotheby's London

A book of hours dating to 1500 has made £220,900 ($361,701) at Sotheby's - up 341.8% on a £50,000 ($79,655) high estimate.

The auction took place in London on December 3.

Book of hours 1500
The book features a total of 195 miniature paintings

The piece is one of a series produced by a group of artisans in Renaissance Paris, whose work is identifiable by their practice of placing miniatures in the borders of almost every page.

Six are in public collections, including those of the British Library in London and the Yale University Library in New Haven, with another in private hands.

The work is notable for its vibrant and original compositions, including a rare depiction of the fall of Lucifer, which shows the influence of the anonymous Master of Martainville 183 - the illustrator of a major book of hours in the Biblotheque Municipale of Rouen.

It was rebound in the 18th century and is in fine condition, despite some pigment loss in the borders.

Another book of hours, in Latin and French, circa 1440, made £98,500 ($161,283) - up 222.5% on an identical estimate of £30,000-50,000 ($47,793-79,655).

The piece is closely related to the work of the Dunois Master, who is characterised by his light colour palette and delicate brushwork.

Many of the miniatures display distinct similarities to this artist in terms of skin tone and the realisation of fabric, however some of the proportions differ fundamentally from his style - suggesting it was executed by another hand.

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