— FOREWORD — estenbaum & Company is honored to present this historic auction: Important Hebrew Printed Books from the Library of the Valmadonna Trust. Broadly characterized as the finest private collection of Hebrew Printed Books ever assembled, the Valmadonna Trust Library, comprising some 13,000 volumes, was built over more than half a century of prodigious pursuit by its custodian and visionary, the late Mr. Jack V. Lunzer. In early 2017 the London based Valmadonna Trust Library was acquired by the National Library of Israel where it will be housed in a new landmark building in Jerusalem. Some two hundred volumes, from the earliest Hebrew printed books to later extraordinary rarities and unique copies, were extracted from the Collection and are to be offered in the present auction. This will allow private collectors and institutional libraries from across the globe a unique opportunity to acquire extraordinary bibliophilic treasures from this celebrated Collection. Aside from the great rarity of so many of the lots on offer here, also important to note is the extraordinary effort that was undertaken by the Custodian of the Valmadonna Trust in seeking to preserve each and every volume acquired. Expert restoration went into numerous books, after which they were beautifully rebound in the antique style by artisans from England’s top binderies, so that each volume now has the most sumptuous appearance. In addition to a wealth of 15th-18th century volumes, the entire reference library of the Valmadonna Trust will be offered for sale here as a single unit - an extraordinary opportunity for a far-sighted research institution. Many of the books in this catalogue have been described assisted by the erudite publication edited by David Sclar: Treasures of the Valmadonna Trust Library - Otzroth Ya’akov (London & New York, 2011) assembled by a team of first-rate scholars including Shimon Iakerson, Ari Kinsberg, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Pauline Malkiel, Adri K. Offenberg, Brad Sabin Hill, Jerry Schwarzbard, David Wachtel and Isaac Yudlov. Similarly, due acknowledgment is to be placed with the learned bookman par excellence, Brad Sabin Hill, for his masterful catalogue: Hebraica (Saec. X ad Saec. XVI) Manuscripts and Early Printed Books from the Library of the Valmadonna Trust. An Exhibition at the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (Oxford University Press, 1989). Kestenbaum is particularly grateful to Brad Sabin Hill for providing the detailed introduction especially composed for the present auction-catalogue - a testament to his decades-long relationship with the Valmadonna Trust Library. In keeping with the munificent nature of the discerning collector who seeks to unite connoisseurship, intellectual enrichment and trusteeship for future generations, this auction is a unique opportunity to acquire the very finest texts, many of them in a physical condition that is quite unparalleled. DEK Fall, 2017 K