The relatively small sale starts with an illuminated manuscript on vellum of a Bible in Latin, most likely from a Parisian workshop in the 13th- or early 14th-century, estimated at £20,000-30,000.
The style of the illuminated illustration and decoration is characteristic of the Johann Grusch Workshop which was active in Paris between 1230-70. It has 484 leaves with 85 fine historiated initials painted in colours and gold extending with decorative flourishes into the margins and old annotations at a few margins with numerous manicules. It had been rebound (without cutting) in 19th-century Levant crushed morocco leather by Kerr and Richardson, Glasgow.
A fine Scottish book is the rare first edition of Bishop of Dunkeld Gawin Douglas’ (c.1474-1522) first translation of a major poem from antiquity into any form of English, namely into Scottish, which was later published in London in 1553 and finely bound in the 19th century by Riviere and Son, The xiii. Bukes of Eneados of the famose Poete Virgili Translated out of Latyne verses into Scottish metir. Douglas was one of the first to draw the distinction between Scots and ‘Inglis’ and, unlike many of his contemporaries, he wrote only in the vernacular, which was greatly admired by others later. Estimate £3000-5000.
Also shown above is a copy of the much-admired The Birds of Great Britain by John Gould (1804-81) which was printed in London in five volumes from 1862-73, guided at £30,000-50,000. A large folio featuring 367 hand-coloured lithographed plates by Gould and others with a dedication to The Right Honourable Rowland Hill, Viscount Hill of Hawkstone, it also includes a five-page list of subscribers.