(RaDa”K). Sepher HaShorashim [“Book of Roots”: Biblical lexicon]

AUCTION 76 | Thursday, June 14th, 2018 at 3:00 PM
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Ceremonial & Graphic Art

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Lot 196

(RaDa”K). Sepher HaShorashim [“Book of Roots”: Biblical lexicon]

Second incunable edition (first ed: Rome, c. 1469-72). Text in square Hebrew typeface, Biblical references in sidebars in Rabbinic type. Scattered marginalia. ff. 143 (of 144, lacking opening blank) text entirely complete. Some staining, slight marginal repair on opening and final leaves, penciled foliation erroneous. Later blind-tooled calf. Folio. Vinograd, Naples 12; Goff Heb-39; Offenberg 105; Iakerson 53; St. Bodl. col. 873, no. 43.

Naples: Azriel ben Joseph Aschkenazi Gunzenhauser 1490

Est: $30,000 - $40,000
<<A complete copy of the Sepher HaShorashim. The most influential lexicographical work for the study of the Hebrew language.>> The foundation of Hebrew grammar and lexicography were laid by Sa’adiah Gaon in the 10th century. The formation of Hebrew grammatical rules was essential to facilitate the study and understanding of the Bible. According to Joshua Bloch, the Sepher HaShorashim with it’s “very rich collection of lexicographic material…increased the knowledge of the Hebrew language. This (Kimchi) accomplished with…numerous new etymologies as well as…new comparisons with post-biblical Hebrew.” Its popularity is evident from the fact that two editions appeared in Naples within a period of five months. See EJ, X col. 1002. The Gunzenhausers, pioneers in Hebrew printing, moved to Naples from Gunzehausen in Southern Germany. There they established a press, assembled a talented team of type-setters and proof-readers (includng Samuel ben Meir Latif, the proofreader and editor of this edition) and between the years 1487-92 produced in sum twelve books.