Seder Hagadah shel Pesach

AUCTION 6 | Tuesday, November 17th, 1998 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art The Property of Various Owners

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Lot 100

Seder Hagadah shel Pesach

Title within architectural arch. Each page within woodcut floral borders incorporating bucrania, garlands, grotesques, playful putti and similar Renaissance motifs. Illustrated throughout including nearly thirty differing themes (few repeated). ff.(38). Closely shaved occasionally affecting borders, expert paper repairs strengthening corners and margins, minor loss to cuts on ff.11-2, stained. Modern vellum-backed boards. Sm.folio Yudlov 20; Yaari 18; Yerushalmi pl.22-6; and for issue points see I. Rivkind, Dikdukei Sophrim in: Kiryat Sepher Vol. II (1925) p.61 no.17

Mantua: Isaac Bassan for Giacomo Ruffinelli 1560

Est: $70,000 - $90,000
The First Italian Illustrated Hagadah. The first Illustrated Hagadah Printed With a Title-Page. A Prized, Impressive and Influential Hagadah That Served as a Model for Successive Italian Illustrated Editions (1599, 1601, 1603, 1604, etc.) “One of the Most remarkable and at the Same Time One of the Most Perplexing Illustrated Works of the Sixteenth Century.” (C. Roth, The Illustrated Hagadah in: Studies in Books and Booklore (1972) p.170 An unusual fusion of North and South, the Mantua Hagadah retains the angular Gothic type-face used in the Prague Hagadah of 1526 but incorporates a more florid Italian border for each page. In his study of the Salman Schocken copy, Professor Abramsky relates that “Lazarus Goldschmidt has proved almost conclusively that [the Mantua Hagadah] is the first known -[and indeed only] - Hebrew woodblock book, the type having been cut from the December 1526 Prague Hagadah.” (See Sotheby’s, Important Hebrew Books from the Library of the late Salman Schocken, 6th December 1993, Lot 69). However, “not only were the borders of the Mantua Hagadah Italianized, but the marginal woodcuts as well. These were now entirely redrawn, and the number of large illustrations at the bottom of each page increased. The Simple Son is now decked out as an Italian buffoon (f.7r). Abraham, who was depicted in Prague in a rowboat to illustrate the verse “Your fathers dwelt of old time beyond the river” (Joshua 24:2), now traverses the Euphrates in a gondola, with the gondolier standing on the prow, oar in hand (f.8r). The Wicked Son, formerly a German Lanzknecht, has now changed allegiance and become an Italian condottiere (f.6v). Most revealing of the traditional openness of Italian Jewry to the surrounding culture is the figure of the Wise Son (f.7r). But for the head and cap, he is an obvious replica of Michelangelo’s painting of the prophet Jeremiah in the Sistine Chapel fresco. Our surprise at this diminishes somewhat when we take into account the eyewitness report of Giorgio Vasari, in his Lives of the Painters, that, when Michelangelo was at work on his great statue of Moses, the Jews of Rome would flock to gaze in admiration at his progress.” Yerushalmi pp.37-8