Page from The Rules of St Augustine of Hippo, $80,000 (£63,700) at Doyle New York.

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The Rare Books, Autographs & Maps sale at Doyle New York (28/27/21/15% buyer’s premium) on May 1 was led by an English medieval liturgical manuscript: a c.1350 copy of The Rules of St Augustine of Hippo.

According to a coeval addendum, this monastic rule book was part of the library of the Llanthony Secunda in Gloucestershire.

The monastery was founded by an Augustinian cell that had been driven out of its original setting on the Welsh Marches by border unrest.

The 9 x 5½in (23 x 14cm) codex of 48 folios includes a large six-line initial of St Augustine at his desk and extra decorative initials in red and blue.

It is possible that the book was part of the donation of John Leeche, who bequeathed 57 manuscripts to Llanthony in 1361, but is perhaps more likely to be a domestic production of the priory scriptorium itself.

Bound in 18th century brown calf, by that period it was owned by the Georgian antiquary Anthony Gifford, whose bookplate now appears on the front free endpaper.

It was apparently sold in 1776 at auction by the firm of Baker and Leigh that later took the name Sotheby’s.

The Rule of St Augustine is among the earliest of all monastic rules, written c.400. The additional commentary was widely thought to be the writings by Hugh of Saint Victor (c.1096-1141), although an exact attribution has not yet been settled.

Estimated at $8000-12,000, this copy hammered for $80,000 (£63,700).