Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 5 - June 23rd 1998

Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art
Including Property From The Late Professor
Sefton D. Temkin and
The Late Sigmund S. Harrison

Kestenbaum & Company’s season ended with a rare assortment of Early Printed Hebrew Books from such important 16th century centers of Jewish life as Venice, Constantinople and Salonika, crafted by gifted printers: Soncino, Bomberg, di Gara, Bragadin, Adelkind, and Yaabetz — notable figures in the struggle for Jewish cultural continuity in the wake of the Spanish Expulsion.

Highlights included:

  • An exceptionally fine copy of the Yalkut Shimoni, a Midrashic anthology to the Bible, attributed to Shimon the Preacher of Frankfurt, Salonika, 1521-26, sold for $31,050
  • Isaac Arama's Akeidath Yitzchak, philosophical and allegorical sermons on the` Pentateuch, Salonika, 1522, fetched $24,150.
  • The first printed edition of Ethics of the Fathers, printed in Soncino, by Joshua Solomon Soncino in 1484, which made $69,000
  • Joseph de Caceres Spanish translation of the famous French epic-poem on the Creation by du Bartas, Los Siete dias de la Semana, Sobre la Criacion del Mundo, Amsterdam, 1612, sold for $33,350
  • An illuminated Marriage Contract from Basra in the Persian Gulf dated the 3rd of Tamuz 1877, brought $5,750
  • A fine calligraphic 19th century German Woman's Vernacular Prayer-book fetched $4,600.

Hebrew Bible
Very finely hand-colored Hebrew Bible
(Amsterdam, 1726) sold for $11,500