Two examples from a group of six cut-out coloured initials of 12th century origin – £10,000 at Bloomsbury Auctions.

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The dog jumping though an initial ‘O’ suggests Parisian work in its understanding of shading and use of penwork to create the texture of fur, said the cataloguer.

The other cuttings were described as more rustic, but attention was drawn to the rare scene of a hunter with a dead hare attached to his bow reproduced here.

The cuttings were once in the collections of Vladimir Gregorievich Simkovich (1874-1959), a Russian-born professor of economic history at New York’s Columbia University.

Fundamental work

The London sale was topped at £70,000 by the first lot offered, one which comprised three cuttings from a manuscript of ‘Paul the Deacon’s Homiliary’, a work described as one of the fundamental building blocks of the Carolingian Renaissance.

Produced in a Rhineland scriptorium, the fragments date from the late 8th or early 9th century and may even be part of a manuscript that was produced during the author’s lifetime.