Van den Hoecke's Manuscript Florilegium headlines April 30 sale

A rare copy of Manuscript Florilegium, attributed to Robert van den Hoecke, led an auction at Sotheby's London on April 30.

The book dates to the late 17th century and features almost 300 watercolour illustrations of various plants. It sold for £413,000 ($624,815), an increase of 726% on a £50,000 ($75,643) estimate.

Hoecke manuscript Sothebys
Hoecke worked alongside Peter Paul Rubens

Robert van den Hoecke (1622-1668) worked in the studio of the famed Peter Paul Rubens.

The book was attributed to him by a former owner, but it is also possible the book could have been produced by his brother Jan or his father, Gaspar - both of who were well known painters.

John James Audubon's Snowy Owl, a plate from his celebrated Birds of America series, also sold well. It realised £106,250 ($160,742), up 112% on a valuation of £50,000 ($75,643).

The auction house describes it as "an excellent example, with good margins, of one of the finest large-scale prints from Audubon's The Birds of America."

Audubon's work is in high demand, with a complete copy of his magnum opus selling for £7.3m ($11.6m) in a 2010 auction.

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