AUCTION 55 | Thursday, June 21st, 2012 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 261


Hagadah shel Pesach. Scribe: Nathaniel ben of Aaron Segal. Illuminated Manuscript in Hebrew, with instructions in Yiddish, composed on thick parchment and written in Aschkenazi square and waybertaytsch scripts. Pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations. Text according to Aschkenazi rite. pp. 68. Few stains, light wear from use. Contemporary calf, rubbed. Lg. 4to.

Hamburg: 1757

Est: $30,000 - $40,000
<<A sophisticated 18th-century illuminated Hagadah, owned for nearly a century within the family of the famed Zionist artist, Ephraim Moses Lilien.>> The Scribe and his Work: Nathaniel, son of Aaron Segal, was a sofer stam (scribe of Torah scrolls, phylacteries, and mezuzahs) in the three “AHU communities” (Altona, Hamburg and Wandsbeck) and active between 1757 (possibly earlier) and 1772. Six signed illuminated manuscripts are known to exist in his hand - four Hagadahs, and two Mohel books. His manuscripts are usually decorated with monochrome, grey, pen and brush drawings, however, the present “Lilien Hagadah” is colored in a sophisticated style. For unlike other 18th century vividly colored Hebrew manuscripts, the color scheme of Nathaniel’s “Lilien Hagadah” consists of fine, light tinted images composed in a painterly style and differing considerably from his later Hagadahs. <<Manuscript Decoration:>> Full-page panel: p. 1 - Moses and the Burning Bush (modeled on the printed Amsterdam Hagadah, 1712). Half-page panels: p. 10 - The Sages of Bnei Brak. p. 13 - The Four Sons. p. 16 - Abraham smashing the idols. p. 17 - Abraham and the three angels. p. 20 - The building of Pithom and Ra’amses and Moses killing the Egyptian. p. 21 - The Finding of Moses. p. 24 - The Children of Israel moving from Ra’amses to Succoth. p. 25 - The Plague of Frogs. p. 28 - Moses and Aaron before Pharoah. Initial Words: p. 5 - “Baruch” colored letters. p. 9 - “Keha” colored letters flanked by two branches. p.35 - “Baruch” ‘folded’ and tinted letters. p. 56 - “Chassal” ‘folded’ and tinted letters. p. 59 - “Echad” ‘folded’ and tinted letters. p. 65 - “Chad Gadya” large black letters flanked by two branches with flowers. <<Provenance:>> 1. Original owner unknown. 2. The Collection of the Polish-Jewish artist and early Zionist, Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874-1925); with his prominent ex-libris on front pastedown and with later ex-libris on following blank leaf. Lilien is regarded as the leading formulator of Zionism’s artistic vision in the early 20th-century. 3. The family of Otto Lilien (E. M. Lilien’s son). 4. Loaned to the Bezalel National Museum, Jerusalem. 5. Exhibited in Cologne, Germany at the “Monumenta Judaica” exhibition, 1963-64 (catalogue no. D-64).