Sotheby’s to Host Auction Filled With Renaissance-Era Books

The lot is estimated to fetch around $25m USD, including an early manuscript of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Treatise on Painting.’

Art
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Sotheby’s is gearing up to host an auction filled with Renaissance art and books worth up to $25m USD. Commencing in October, the sale includes publications and bindings from the collection of acclaimed American scholar, T. Kimball Brooker, who spent 60 years putting together one of the finest rare-book libraries in the world.

Highlights of the sale include an early manuscript of Leonardo da Vinci‘s Treatise on Painting, which was copied and compiled by the Italian polymath’s lifelong assistant, Francesco Melzi, around 1638 to 1641.

The auction also includes nearly 1,000 editions from Venetian publisher Aldine Press, which were all printed between the 15th and 16th century. “This constitutes the largest collection of Aldines to grace the market in the modern era,” said Sotheby’s book and manuscript expert, Charlotte Miller, in a statement. “The volumes are not merely of historical curiosity—they have left a lasting impact on the world of publishing and the appearance of the modern book. The printer’s device of the dolphin and anchor remains an enduring symbol of quality, still acknowledged by publishers and bibliophiles today.”

Additional standouts in the Brooker sale include Sebastiano Serlio’s Terzo libro, dedicated to François I, King of France, who contributed funds to publishing in the 16th century, as well as a wax-relief portrait by Giovanni Battista Capocaccia depicting Pope Pius V with his secretary. The auction, entitled “Bibliotheca Brookeriana: A Renaissance Library. Magnificent Books and Bindings”, will encompass eight different sales, with the first taking place in New York on October 11. Please visit Sotheby’s for more information.

In related news, Google Arts & Culture launches groundbreaking online database on Leonardo da Vinci.

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