The couple’s collection of manuscripts and early printed books, offered on 23 April, is one of the finest ever to come to market
Over the course of 30 years, Elaine and Alexandre Rosenberg assembled one of the finest collections of illuminated manuscripts and early printed books in the world. Eager academics and scholars could regularly be found in the library of the couple’s Upper East Side townhouse.
The Rosenbergs collected with great passion. According to their daughters, Elisabeth Clark and Marianne Rosenberg, they ‘perhaps even found a soulmate’ in their books.
The couple continued collecting until Alexandre’s death in 1987. Although she never added to it, Elaine took great care in preserving the collection until her own passing, aged 98, in 2020.
On 23 April, 17 illuminated manuscripts and more than 200 of the Rosenbergs’ incunabula (printed books from before 1501) are being offered in a single-owner sale at Christie’s in New York.
‘This is one of the most important collections of its kind ever to come to market,’ says Eugenio Donadoni, Christie’s senior specialist in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. ‘We’re proud to honour Elaine and Alexandre Rosenberg’s collecting and philanthropic legacy with this auction.’