One of more than 51 miniatures from the English illuminated manuscript that sold for £1.5m at Sotheby’s on December 4.

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They form part of the finest English illuminated manuscript still in private hands. Forming a Vita Christi, or life of Christ and the Virgin, of c.1190-1200, the sequence was reorganised and supplemented in the late 15th century with a further 57 large or full-page miniatures of that period to produce a rosary and devotional work.

This was done for a Norfolk family and the later miniatures are of East Anglian origin, but the original, late Romanesque miniatures may once have been part of a Psalter, perhaps made in York or elsewhere in northern England.

With more than 50 such glorious miniatures, it must have been a commission of regal opulence.

At Sotheby's on December 4, the separately catalogued and much-publicised Ottheinrich Bible, an illuminated German New Testament of 1430, failed to match a £2m-3m estimate, but the English manuscript provided considerable compensation.

Formerly in the great Dyson Perrins collection, sold in the same rooms in 1959, this time it was acquired for £1.5m by the leading German specialist dealer Dr Jorn Günther.