Sepher Hazohar [“The Book of Splendor”]

AUCTION 7 | Tuesday, June 22nd, 1999 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art The Property of Various Owners

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Lot 570
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. Title pages within architectural arch. First volume lacking title page. First word of each part within a decorative woodcut border. Marginalia. Made-up copy ff. (5, of 8), 250. Lacking title page and following two leaves. ff. 268 (of 269) f.259 provided in old hand. ff. 300. Trimmed, variously worn and stained. Modern boards, slip-case. 4to Vinograd, Mantua 51,61 and 69; not in Adams

Mantua: Meir b. Ephraim & Jacob b. Naphtali Kohen 1558-60

Est: $2,000 - $3,000
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