14th century King Arthur text to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s

November 12th, 2010 - 5:42 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 12 (ANI): A 14th century document containing what is believed to be the oldest surviving account of the legends of King Arthur is expected to fetch up to 2 million pounds at an auction.

The Rochefoucauld Grail, a colourful, illustrated account of the Knights of the Round Table is said to be one of the finest medieval texts in private hands, reports the Daily Mail.

It is due to be sold by auction house Sotheby’s in London for a price estimated between 1.5 million pound and 2 million pound.

More than 200 cows would have been needed to produce the vellum sheets for the three hefty volumes of the manuscript, which contains 107 finely painted illustrations.

It was written in Flanders or Artois some time between 1315 and 1323 and probably produced for Guy VII, Baron de Rochefoucauld, head of one of the leading aristocratic families of medieval France.

The manuscript went on to be acquired by 19th century collector Sir Thomas Phillipps and has changed hands twice since.

The stories of Arthur, the lady in the lake and Lancelot,which it contained were popular in their day and were translated widely around Europe, and became something of a guidebook for chivalry. (ANI)

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