Rothschild prayer book fetches $13.6m

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iol news pic Rothschild Prayerbook AP This undated photo provided by Christie's shows the cover of a lavishly illustrated prayerbook that is considered to be one of the highest achievements of Flemish Renaissance painting. Known as the Rothschild Prayerbook, sold at Christies New York for $13.6 million, maintaining the auction record it set 15 years ago for an illuminated manuscript. (AP Photo/Christie's)

New York - A Renaissance prayer book has sold for $13.6 million, just short of the auction record it set 15 years ago for an illuminated manuscript.

Christie's auction house says the Rothschild Prayerbook was purchased Wednesday by a private collector bidding by telephone.

The ornately illustrated Book of Hours sold in 1999 at Christie's London for $13.4 million to a European collector.

It was commissioned around 1505 by a member of the imperial court of the Netherlands. It entered the Rothschild family collection in the 19th century.

The 150-page book features full-page color drawings, called miniatures, by leading masters of illumination.

The manuscript was part of a collection of Nazi-confiscated treasures that was returned to the Rothschild banking dynasty by the Austrian government in 1999.

Sapa-AP


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