Sepher Hazohar [“The Book of Splendor”]

AUCTION 2 | Tuesday, June 03rd, 1997 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art Including Property from a Dutch Private Collector and the Late T. Nachum Gidal

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Lot 347
SHIMON B”R YOCHAI (Attributed to. “Revealed” to Moses b. Shem Tov de Leon).

Sepher Hazohar [“The Book of Splendor”]

FIRST EDITION. Five parts in three volumes. Complete with four titles each within architectural arch. ff.(8), 251, 269, 300 Volumes not uniform. Stained in places, previous owner’s marks. Vol. I: opening ff.3 laid to size, portion of outer column of title replaced in manuscript, closing ff.2 frayed at margins, last f. taped, censored. Vol. II: Wide-margined. Opening ff.2 laid to size, closing ff.7 with loss of few words mostly replaced in manuscript, final f. laid to size. Vol III: Opening ff.2 remargined f.38:8 with loss affecting few words. Modern blind-stamped morocco, fitted case, sm. folio Vinograd, Mantua 51,61 and 69; Wiener 3384; not in Adams

Mantua: Meir b. Ephraim of Padua and Jacob Hakohen of Gazolo 1558-60

Est: $5,000 - $6,000
This, the most classic of Jewish mystical texts was printed amidst fierce controversy. Many among Rabbinic and Kabbalistic circles feared the printing of such an esoteric work; its meaning might be distorted by Christians in support of their faith, and the majority of Jews themselves would be confused by the implications of the Zohar’s mystical teachings. A textually inferior reprint by Vincenzo Conti of Cremona immediately followed this Mantua edition. See G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941) pp.156-243; D. Amram, The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1963) pp.325-27; Carmilly-Weinberger, pp.53-55