(Attributed to. “Revealed” to Moses b. Shem Tov de Leon). Sepher Hazohar [“The Book of Splendor”]

AUCTION 15 | Tuesday, March 12th, 2002 at 1:00
Fine Hebrew Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art The Property of Various Owners

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Lot 392

(Attributed to. “Revealed” to Moses b. Shem Tov de Leon). Sepher Hazohar [“The Book of Splendor”]

FIRST EDITION. Five parts in three volumes. Four title pages within architectural arch. First word of each part within a decorative woodcut border I: ff.(8), 251. II: ff. 266 (of 269),ff. 1-2 and 269 provided in facsimile. III: ff. 299 (of 300), f. 300 provided in facsimile, ff.1-2 fragments with loss provided in an old-hand, also provided in fascimile, ff. 115-6 provided from another copy. Scattered marginalia throughout, variously worn and stained. Modern boards. 4to Vinograd, Mantua 51,61 and 69; not in Adams

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

Est: $1,500 - $2,000
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.53-5