Anglo American Press Gleanings

A near contemporary of Tyndale

On Thursday an unnamed telephone bidder bought a miniature Dutch Book at Sotheby's auction for $3.93 Million. The miniature 16th-century book of hours, which was illustrated by the Flemish artist Simon Bening, is about the size of a small cigarette packet. The book was discovered in a private collection in the Netherlands. A book of hours is a devotional volume containing prayers and meditations appropriate to the seasons, months, days and hours. The manuscript was probably illustrated around 1530 in Bruges and from the emblem of a goat carved in its original binding is known as the 'Capricorn Hours'.

Born in Antwerp in 1483 and employed by the king of Portugal, Bening was the most celebrated Flemish illustrator of the Renaissance and his miniatures were like microscopic panel paintings.

Christopher de Hamel, head of Sotheby's manuscript department, said 'Bening was hugely admired in the 16th century and today's sale proved that he can still command great admiration in the 21st century. He can evoke heat and cold, night and day, texture and emotion all within a picture, which is a miracle in miniaturization'.

Anglo American Press Gleanings
from Neil Langdon Inglis
Selected and compiled by Joan Wilson

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