Specialist, Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts
Eugenio Donadoni joined the Manuscripts team at Christie’s in 2010. Born in Florence and raised in Naples, he underwent a radical process of Anglicisation and ended up reading for an undergraduate degree, a Master’s degree, and a doctorate at Oxford University. His loyalties are still divided, especially come the World Cup.
Working internationally alongside Kay Sutton, Eugenio has responsibility for the appraisal, research and cataloguing of medieval and renaissance and earlier Western manuscripts. Recent highlights include the sale of a previously unrecorded example of a medieval English folding almanac in its original binding (£122,500, November 2013); the exceptional Rothschild Prayerbook ($13.6m, the world record at auction for an illuminated manuscript, New York, 2014); the Middle English manuscript of the Chastysing of Godde’s Children (£128,500, May 2014); a beautiful copy of Juvenal’s Satyrae, destined for Pierre Doriole, Chancellor of Louis XI (£242,500, July 2014); a 14th-century sammelband of rare secular texts from St Mary’s Abbey, Dublin (£206,500, November 2014) and the Carolingian ‘Gospels of Queen Theutberga’ (£1.99m, July 2015). Notable collection sales have included the Arcana Collection of Exceptional Illuminated Manuscripts, which totalled £6.1m and set the auction record for an Italian Book of Hours, with multiple manuscripts selling for over £1m in a single sale (6 July 2011), the manuscripts from The Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow (New York, April 2013) and the stunning group of manuscripts from the collection of Yates, Thompson and Bright: a Family of Bibliophiles (16 July 2014). Over the past 5 years Eugenio has negotiated a number of multi-million pound private sales of medieval and renaissance manuscripts to clients in Europe, the UK and the Americas. While cataloguing the Yates, Thompson and Bright sale, Eugenio identified a previously unknown text by the Renaissance French author Catherine d’Amboise: this important discovery formed the basis of his most recent article in French Studies Bulletin (OUP, Spring 2016). In November 2015, Eugenio dragged medieval manuscripts out of the Dark Ages and into the Digital Age by piloting the department’s first, and very successful, Online Only sale – Script and Illumination: Leaves from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.
Eugenio runs the department’s Twitter feed, plays in a much-loved – if terrible – rock band, will offer unsolicited advice on anything food-related and is trilingual in English, Italian and French. He also reads Latin and Ancient Greek.