AUCTION 19 | Tuesday, March 11th, 2003 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts and Works of Graphic Art

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Lot 38


Edited by Jacob b. Chaim of Tunis. With Targum Onkeles and commentary by Rashi, ibn Ezra, Kimchi, Targum, etc. Four volumes each with title within architectural arch, initial letters within elaborate woodcut border. Ex-library. Few light stains in places, previous owner’s inscription on titles, signed by censor on last leaves. Generally, a fine, clean copy. Recent uniform vellum Vinograd, Venice 99; Habermann, Bomberg 93; Darlow & Moule 5085; not in Adams

Venice: Daniel Bomberg 1524-5

Est: $20,000 - $30,000
A MAGNIFICENT CRISP COPY. The Second Biblia Rabbinica, the first to present the Massorah. The text of this edition became the standard Massoretic text for all subsequent editions. See D.S. Berkowitz, In Remembrance of Creation (1968) no. 166. The first Biblia Rabbinica, printed by Bomberg in 1516-7 was edited by the apostate Jew Felix Pratensis and contained the Imprimatur of the Pope. Bomberg quickly realised that these two facts marginalized the Great Bible from the Jewish market. Bomberg therefore employed Jacob b. Chaim ibn Adonijah, newly arrived in Venice (after being driven out of Spain and then Tunis), as editor of the Second Biblia Rabbinica. A meticulous, and most knowledgeable Jewish editor, Joseph b. Chaim went to great pains to secure as many codices with a masorah as possible. For the first time, there was a printed Hebrew Bible with a marginal masorah, which, as hoped by Bomberg, was received with acclaim by the Jewish market. THUS, THIS BIBLE MAY BE SAID TO BE THE FIRST “JEWISH” RABBINIC BIBLE.