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Valuable Books and Manuscripts

Valuable Books and Manuscripts

Sale Overview

Christie’s London December auction of Valuable Books and Manuscripts presents a wide and diverse range of material. The medieval and renaissance manuscript section includes a wonderful collection of Italian miniatures from a private collector, as well as humanist manuscripts and Books of Hours, the piece-de-resistance being a grand, richly illuminated Book of Hours painted by the Master of Jean Rolin (£120,000-180,000).

We are delighted to present the earliest dated English scientific instrument, a medieval horary quadrant from 1311 (£100,000-150,000), an early ‘computer’ for use in calculating the date of Easter and solving the time of day by unequal hours. Alongside it is the paper published 626 years later describing the foundation of all modern electronic digital computers, A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits, written by Claude Shannon in 1937 (£50,000-80,000). There are other very important 20th-century science lots by the likes of Niels Bohr, Willem De Sitter and Richard Feynman, as well as many landmarks of natural history, including Dodart’s splendidly illustrated botanical book Estampes pour servir a l'histoire des plantes (£60,000-80,000). These visual delights are complemented by John Rocque’s vast and highly detailed 1746 map of London (£40,000-60,000), and Edward Wadsworth’s own copies of the important Vorticist journal Blast! The sale is rounded off with a rare proof copy of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange.

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