An illustrated manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci is expected to fetch a record auction price in Britain.
GV EXTERIOR Holkham Hall, Norfolk, U.K.
CU Golden ostrich embossed on leather-bound box containing illustrated manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci, ZOOM OUT TO SV Lord Coke removes manuscript from box while he describes contents to John Herbert, a representative of Christie's Auction Rooms of London
SV Manuscript being opened as John Herbert asks Lord Coke question about manuscript and Lord Coke describes it in detail
SV Open manuscript ZOOM INTO diagram of sun, earth and moon ZOOM OUT TO Lord Coke speaking PAN DOWN TO pages of manuscript being turned as John Herbert asks further question about manuscript being written from right to left PAN TO Lord Coke PAN BACK TO manuscript and details of how heat affects water PAN BACK TO SV open page
TRANSCRIPTS: SEQ 3-4: LORD COKE: "Well here it is here and that's the family crest, an ostrich with a horseshoe in its mouth, and here it is in here. shall we put that down here."
HERBERT: "I understand it's basically a study of water and cosmology, and ..."
LORD COKE: "It's Leonardo's thoughts on the movement, nature, form of water. Well this is the thoughts, Leonardo's thoughts on how the moon and the sun influence what goes on earth, especially with regard to tides. That's the sun there of course, and the earth down there and Leonardo mentions that the moon has no light of its own. But he refuses to consider that there are actual waters on the moon and he maintains that if there are waters there cannot be waves,that there is no wind on the moon. Extraordinary thoughts to have really when in those days there weren't telescopes to in fact study the moon as we can now. And then we go on, again more thoughts on the same thing. It's a general page....It's in remarkably good condition as you see."
HERBERT: "It's written from right to left isn't it?"
LORD COKE: "Yes. There's two theories about that. One is that why he did it was...he was left-handed and of course it's easier for a left-handed person to write from right to left. And the other reason, so people think, is that a lot of scholars in renaissance Italy wrote backwards so to speak to avoid their works being copied by lesser scholars. I think that in fact the first explanation is a sensible one. And here's an example, a rather interesting one, of his showing ow if you put a hot coal in a bowl, an inverted bowl, over a flask of water the heat eliminates the air, as he calls it and we of course now know it as oxygen. And, therefore, the water is drawn up into the vacuum. You can see it -- there it is at its present level and then when the coal has eliminated the oxygen, it's drawn up to that level. and so we go on."
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Background: An illustrated manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci is expected to fetch a record auction price in Britain. The manuscript, considered to be one of the rarest and most valuable still owned privately, will be auctioned at Christie's of London in December. The 36-page work, known as the Codex Leicester, is expected to fetch at least four million pounds (about ten million dollars). It might make a great deal more as both France and Italy are said to regard its purchase of some national importance. The manuscript was written by Leonardo in 1508 and is a thesis on earth, moon, water and astronomy. It's being sold by Lord Coke, son of the Earl of Leicester, to pay taxes still due on the death of the fifth Earl in 1976. The sale will also help with the upkeep of Holkham Hall, family home of the Earls of Leicester since 1717.