Hebrew. Psalms). Sepher Tehilim. With commentary by David Kimchi (RaDa”K).

AUCTION 74 | Thursday, November 09th, 2017 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters & Graphic Art

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Lot 29

Hebrew. Psalms). Sepher Tehilim. With commentary by David Kimchi (RaDa”K).

Biblical text in square type with Nikud. Kimchi’s commentary in rabbinic type without nikud. Edited by Jacob Baruch ben Judah Landau Aschkenazi. <<A Wide-Margined Copy.>> ff. 113 (of 118). Lacking the final blank (absent in most copies); ff. 1-3 and 7 expertly reproduced in facsimile, including decorative initial word panel; ff. 4-6 mounted, most lower outer corners strengthened. Censored as expected, though prodigious (and certainly contemporary) efforts were clearly made to remove the censor’s erasures and render the text readable. Additional fragmentary portions of ff. 17-20 also included loosely laid in place. Modern blind-tooled and paneled morocco, titles gilt on spine. Housed in custom slip-case. Folio.


Est: $15,000 - $20,000
This edition of Psalms, complete with R. David Kimchi’s commentary, was issued by Gunzenhauser the same year as several other volumes of Kethuvim (also called Hagiographa, the third and final section of the Hebrew Bible, following the Torah and the Prophets) including the book of Job, The Five Scrolls (Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Lamentations, Ruth), Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah (see next lots). Joseph and Azriel Gunzenhauser, pioneers of Hebrew printing, settled in Naples from Gunzenhausen, Germany. In Naples they established a press, assembled a talented team of typesetters and proof-readers and between the years 1487-92 produced in sum twelve books. The Naples edition of Psalms, Gunzenhauser`s first imprint, is also the first edition of Psalms to use nikud, (vocalized text accomplished through the addition of vowel points, accents, and diacritic marks) throughout the text. An earlier Hebrew edition of Psalms, printed in Bologna a decade earlier, only included nikud in a portion of the initial quire before abandoning the practice for the remainder of the volume. Indeed, the corrector of the present edition, Jacob Baruch ben Judah Landau, refers in the colophon to the difficulties of gaining an accurate vocalization. See Treasures of the Valmadonna Trust Library - Otzroth Ya’akov, Incunables no. 26.