The ‘Petau Book of Hours’ went at an auction in Paris on an estimated price of 700,000 to 900,000 euros. Written and exquisitely illustrated over 500 years ago around 1495, this manuscript was the highest bid in a sale dedicated to medieval and Renaissance writings.
The manuscript, written in Latin and illustrated with 16 golden medallions by French painter and illuminator Jean Poyer in the city of Tours, was probably executed for a member of the royalty or a religious dignitary of the time.The overall sale fetched €10,012,187.
This auction is the first of a series of seven auctions that are taking place until June 20, 2018. 942 manuscripts are expected to be sold during those 4 days, as an attempt to liquidate a 130,000-strong collection of artworks and literary treasures pulled together by Aristophil. The group, set up in 1990, raised funds from some 18,000 investors in exchange for a share in the pieces.
Aristophil went bankrupt in 2015, causing losses for its backers, while founder Gerard Lheritier was detained and put under investigation for fraud, a charge he denies.