CASTILLO, MARTIN DEL. Arte Hebraispano. Dikduk Lashon Hakodesh Belshon Sepharadith

AUCTION 28 | Tuesday, April 05th, 2005 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: The Library of the late Professor Abraham J. Karp.

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Lot 11
(AMERICAN JUDAICA)

CASTILLO, MARTIN DEL. Arte Hebraispano. Dikduk Lashon Hakodesh Belshon Sepharadith

FIRST EDITION. Text in Hebrew and Spanish. A clean, wide-margined copy pp. (24), 336. Ex-library. Contemporary vellum. 12mo

Lyons: 1676

Est: $20,000 - $25,000
The First Hebrew Grammar by an American. No doubt a Marrano, Martin del Castillo was born in Burgos and studied Hebrew under the converso Rabbi Moyses (D. Francisco del Hoyo). He was a Guardian of the Franciscan Convert in Mexico in 1663. His Arte Hebraispano was the first Hebrew grammar by an American. The text was originally approved in 1656, but was not printed until twenty years later as there were no printing facilities in Mexico that could accommodate a book with Hebrew type; thus he had to have the work produced in Europe. The author remarks; “The distance between Mexico, in the New World, and Lyons, in the Old World, should excuse any writer from the blame that several misprints have occurred.” Hebrew words are pointed and followed by Spanish transliterations. According to Marx; “The book is so rare that the author’s name... is given in Kayserling’s bibliography as Martyr del Castillo with a remark that it is the pseudonym of a Spanish Jew. Neither he nor Steinschneider gave the title of the book correctly.” See: Alexander Marx, Bibliographical Studies and Notes on Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. M. Schmelzer (ed.) (New York, 1977) p.171