Christie’s is proud to offer for the sale the Collection of Marvin L. Colker (1927-2020), Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia, world-renowned palaeographer, classicist, author of the first comprehensive catalogue of the manuscripts at Trinity College Dublin (a herculean endeavour that took over 30 years), and collector of manuscripts.
This first sale is a testament to the breadth and depth of his collecting, spanning more than 1,500 years of written history and subject matters ranging from astrology to music, literature, medicine, Church history, humanism, liturgy, Hebraica, law and theology. There are leaves from important manuscripts such as the St Albans Abbey Bible, the Hungerford Hours, the Chester Beatty Book of Hours; manuscripts in Catalan, Picard, French, Italian and Hebrew; examples of Beneventan, Carolingian, Visigothic and Scandinavian script; and rare and unusual texts and authors.
The highlight of the sale is a papyrus (P.Colker), impeccably provenanced, widely published and exhibited, that offers the first evidence that the Ancient Greeks were aware of Babylonian Lunar Theory.
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