Part of the text from The New York Times with translation.
The New York Timesの記事の一部と、意訳です。


Inside Art

Renaissance Prayer Book Is Set for Auction


スクリーンショット(2013-11-10 23.49.45)

Image: Cristie’s
Renaissance Illuminated Manuscript

By Published: October 31, 2013




With all eyes on the multimillion-dollar paintings, drawings and sculptures being sold at the Impressionist, modern and contemporary art auctions that begin in New York next week, it may seem a tad arcane — even boring — to focus on an illuminated Renaissance prayer book. But this one has a story that goes back to 1505, to the imperial courts of the Netherlands.


In 1999 the Austrian government returned a stash of Nazi-looted treasures, including the prayer book, to members of the Austrian branch of the Rothschild banking dynasty. The family then sold the pieces — old master paintings, 18th-century French furniture, rare carpets, scientific instruments and decorative objects — through Christie’s in London. The most fought-over work in the nearly $90 million auction was the prayer book, which contains 67 full-page miniatures. It was bought by an unidentified European collector for $13.3 million, close to three times its high estimate of $4.9 million. The price is still a record for an illuminated manuscript at auction.


Five bidders competed for the Renaissance object. Among the losers was the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

当時、5件が競売に参加したが、その中に、ロサンジェルスの J.ポール・ゲッティ美術館がいた。

Now the Getty and others will have a second chance. Christie’s plans to sell the Rothschild Prayer Book, as it’s called, on Jan. 29 during the old master week in New York. This time, Christie’s estimates, it will bring $12 million to $18 million.


“It’s a great Renaissance masterpiece that is 150 pages and has wonderful illustrations by Gerard David,” said Nicholas Hall, international co-chairman of old masters and 19th-century art at Christie’s. Beyond work by David, an early Netherlandish painter known for his brilliantly colored illuminations, the book also contains decorative borders and illuminations by the Flemish miniaturist Gerard Horenbout, who was as an artist in the court of Henry VIII of England.


Convinced that the Rothschild name will appeal to new buyers who may be devotees of wine from the family’s fabled vineyards, Christie’s experts are showing the manuscript in Moscow and Hong Kong. “It’s a first for us to take a Renaissance manuscript to Russia and Asia,” Mr. Hall said.



Published on 9 Jan 2014 by Christie’s