Illuminated manuscripts to unfold at Bloomsbury auction, July 8

The Mckell Medical Almanack in German, illuminated manuscript on parchment, Alsace, circa 1445, 12 leaves. Estimate: £60,000–£80,000. Bloomsbury Auctions images

The Mckell Medical Almanack in German, illuminated manuscript on parchment, Alsace, circa 1445, 12 leaves. Estimate: £60,000–£80,000. Bloomsbury Auctions images

LONDON – The inaugural Western Manuscripts and Miniatures sale at Bloomsbury Auctions on Wednesday, July 8, is a journey through the history of writing and illuminating books in exactly 100 lots. The auction, which spans four millennia and a vast swathe of human experience, will be held at Ely House, 37 Dover St. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.

Dr. Timothy Bolton, head of Western Manuscripts and Miniatures at Bloomsbury Auctions, has been a leading figure in the field of medieval manuscripts for nearly a decade. This is his first sale with Bloomsbury Auctions since leaving Sotheby’s, and it is filled with exceptional works from this specialist area, including a sixth-century fragment of the oldest surviving copy of St. Augustine’s writings on the Gospel of John, and a riotously illuminated 14th century prayer book with boar-hunts, rabbits, dogs and even a kitten dressed as a scholar reading a book in its borders.

Psalter for Dominican Use (left), in Latin and German, illuminated manuscript on parchment, probably Nuremberg, dated 1473, 202 leaves. Estimate: £25,000–£35,000. St. Denis holding his severed head, large miniature on a leaf from a ‘Book of Hours,’ northern France (Paris), circa 1480. Estimate: £4,000–£6,000. Bloomsbury Auctions images

Psalter for Dominican Use (left), in Latin and German, illuminated manuscript on parchment, probably Nuremberg, dated 1473, 202 leaves. Estimate: £25,000–£35,000. St. Denis holding his severed head, large miniature on a leaf from a ‘Book of Hours,’ northern France (Paris), circa 1480. Estimate: £4,000–£6,000. Bloomsbury Auctions images

Pocket gradual in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment, in a contemporary limp binding, France or Low Countries, soon after 1232, 75 leaves. Estimate: £12,000–£18,000. Bloomsbury Auctions image

Pocket gradual in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment, in a contemporary limp binding, France or Low Countries, soon after 1232, 75 leaves. Estimate: £12,000–£18,000. Bloomsbury Auctions image

The Hours of the Cross (left) in Latin, opulently illuminated manuscript on parchment, northeast France, first half of 14th century, 24 leaves. Estimate: £40,000–£60,000. Book of Hours (right) with numerous other devotional texts in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on parchment, southern Netherlands, circa 1460, 313 leaves. Estimate: £30,000–£50,000. Bloomsbury Auctions images

The Hours of the Cross (left) in Latin, opulently illuminated manuscript on parchment, northeast France, first half of 14th century, 24 leaves. Estimate: £40,000–£60,000. Book of Hours (right) with numerous other devotional texts in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on parchment, southern Netherlands, circa 1460, 313 leaves. Estimate: £30,000–£50,000. Bloomsbury Auctions images

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.