Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell's Personal Copy

    Eric G. Millar. English Illuminated Manuscripts From the Xth to the XIIIth Century and English Illuminated Manuscripts From the XIVth and XVth Century. Paris and Brussels: Librairie Nationale D'Art et D'Histoire (G. Van Oest), 1926 and 1928.
    First editions. Inscribed by the author on the half-title page of volume I and II to Sydney Carlyle Cockerell. With a two-page autograph personal letter by the author to Cockerell on British Museum letterhead laid-in Volume I. Two folio volumes. Volume I: color frontispiece, 148 pages, 100 Collotype plates; Volume II: color frontispiece, 106 pages, 100 Collotype plates. Corrigendum laid-in volume I.

    Original blue cloth with titles in gilt on the spine and front board. Corners bumped and frayed as is common with books of this size. Spotting to boards of Volume I. Moderate shelf wear. Small .75 inch tear at the head of the spine at the joint. Contents sound with a few random areas of light foxing. Original dust jackets present, significantly toned and worn on the spine and along the margins. Small areas of loss at the head and foot of the spine panel and several closed tears. Very good.

    Millar's work is the standard reference for English illuminated manuscripts and the association with Sydney Cockerell makes this a special set indeed. The two men's friendship is apparent in Millar's January 26, 1945 dated letter which reads in part: "My dear Sydney Thank you so much for your letter, which it was a great pleasure to get. I am delighted that you think so well of the ms., and I am especially glad to hear that you, of all people, were "in" at the landing of my biggest fish. You know how much of my own love of mss. Is due to your inspiration, over a period of 32 years; if [Henry] Yates Thompson hadn't got me to meet you in 1912 and I hadn't accepted your invitation to come up to Cambridge that Autumn things would have gone very differently with me...I hope you know how grateful I am, as my mother always was too, both for that & for all the subsequent help...". Cockerell's influence, or more precisely mentorship, is apparent throughout Millar's work.

    His superb two-volume work is accompanied by Millar's later supplement "35. Fresh Materials for the Study of English Illumination", an offset from the Dorothy Miner edited Studies in Art and Literature for Belle da Costa Greene. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954. Inscribed by the author to Sydney Cockerell. Extract pages 286-294, plates 231-252. Folio. Laid-in and stapled to a paper folder. Some creasing to covers, else very good. Laid-in is a two page letter, 7 x 9 inches, dated August 18, 1954 from the author to Sydney Cockerell which reads in part: "The parcel containing the enclosed reached me here this morning, and I hope you will accept the first copy, with my gratitude for all you have done for me over so me years (42 in fact!)...P. S. By the 'first copy' of the enclosed I of course mean that you are my first choice as a recipient."

    Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (1867-1962) was a British museum curator, collector and a major figure in the British literary world. He was a major collector of Kelmscott Press books, and was a contemporary and friend to such figures as John Ruskin, William Morris, and T.H. White among many others.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 480

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold on Feb 22, 2008 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 16 days left to consign to the 2021 July 31 Guitars and Musical Instruments Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search