Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 72: March 16th, 2017

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Lot: 144 (ISRAEL, LAND OF). Simonis, Johann. Onomasticum Veteris Testamenti sive Tractatus Philologicus [“Lexicon of the Old Testament with Philological Treatise.”] Title in red and black. Latin interspersed with Hebrew, Arabic, Ethiopic and Greek. Engraved frontispiece featuring Hebrew map of the Land of Israel with place-names and divisions by tribe captioned in Hebrew, covered by a grape-vine, all within ornate frame. Map hand-colored. pp. (16), 644, (118). Foxed (as usual), ex library. Contemporary vellum, upper cover starting, cover bowed. 4to. Laor 730.

Impensis Orphanotrophei, Halle: 1741. Est: $6,000 - $9,000

     This is one of just a handful of pre-19th century Holy Land maps captioned in Hebrew. Its epithet derives from the fact that the Land is covered by a grape vine, a depiction of Psalms chap. 80, vs. 9-12: "You uprooted a vine from Egypt; You drove out nations and planted it. You cleared a place before it; It took root and filled the land. Mountains were covered by its shade, and its branches were great cedars. It sent forth its branches until the sea, and to the river its tender shoots." The grape-vine is thus an allusion to the People of Israel, their exodus from Egypt, and their conquest of the Land.
     E. and G. Wajntraub note: "The vine is a symbol of fertility according to the Prophet Jeremiah 31:5… Although the map is comparatively small in size and compact in execution, much effort was made by its unknown engraver to include all significant places noted in the Old Testament." Wajntraub, Hebrew Maps of the Holy Land (1992) p. 67.

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