Le Statut de Kalisz.

Auction 85 | Thursday, November 07th, 2019 at 1:00pm
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

Back to Catalogue View 3D Catalogue Download Catalogue

Lot 187

Le Statut de Kalisz.

46 (of 48) exquisite full-page colored plates (of which two are duplicated), magnificently composed by Szyk. Highly detailed miniatures, border decorations, elaborate geometric patterns and expert calligraphy, all profusely embellished. On white paper colored to a light-brown to accomplish the “antique” affect, after which the images were printed with gold and silver added by hand. Text in French, Polish, English, Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Italian and Spanish.Limited edition. With the rare colophon page, signed by Szyk and dated 1928. Originally issued loose in portfolio, here each leaf is attached to tabs and bound in deep burgundy morocco with publisher’s gilt and embossed medallion featuring symbol of King Arthur and his Knights on upper cover. Folio.

(Paris): F. Bruckmann for Editions de la Table Ronde 1932

Est: $12,000 - $18,000
<<Exceptionally rare volume by Szyk.>> The last copy sold at Kestenbaum was in Sale 30, lot 309. The present copy is somewhat anomalous, at least as compared to other extant copies: There are two duplicated plates (20 & 28) and the plate ‘Jus Polonicum Jura Judaeis’ is absent as is the limitation page. “J.P. Roland-Marcel called the illumination of the Statute of Kalisz Szyk’s masterpiece and claimed that it placed him on the same level as the best illuminators of the sixteenth century.” See J.P. Ansell, Arthur Szyk pp. 51-61. "If the Haggadah is viewed as Szyk’s most famous illustrated work, surely his Statute of Kalisz is his single most important historic work. Reflecting the highest form of medieval manuscript illumination, this portfolio often has been called “The Jewish Magna Carta." With the affirmation of civil and religious liberties and freedoms for Jews by the Grand Duke of Poland, Boleslav the Pious, in 1264, the Golden Age of Polish Jewry was initiated. In this work, Szyk illuminates the mutually beneficial relationship that flourished between Poles and Jews for hundreds of years." I. Ungar, Justice Illuminated: The Art of Arthur Szyk (1998) p.15. See also J. P. Ansell, Art against Prejudice: Arthur Szyk's Statute of Kalisz, in: Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts (1989) pp. 46-6.