26 53 EMDEN, JACOB. Eitz Avoth [commentary to Ethics of the Fathers, with text]. FIRST EDITION. ff. 82. Heavily browned, previous owner’s marks. Contemporary vellum. 4to. [Vinograd, Altona 51; Raphael, Aresheth III no. 7.] Amsterdam, (i.e. Altona), By the Author, 1751. $1200 - $1800 ❧ Besides providing the earlier commentaries of Bartenura and Tosphoth Yom Tov, R. Jacob Emden includes here two original commentaries: Lechem Nikudim, dealing with grammatical and linguistic issues; and Lechem Shamayim, of a conceptual nature. The book was published with the Haskamah of the author’s brother- in-law, R. Aryeh Leib of Amsterdam. Includes polemic against Zalman Hena’s Beth Tephilah - Luach Eresh, demonstrating that Hena did not properly vocalize Pirkei Avoth (ff. 75v.-82v). 54 (FABLES). Berachiah ben Natronai HaNakdan (Benedictus le Puncteur). Mishlei Shu’alim [“Fox Fables” a Hebrew version of Aesop’s Fables]. FIRST EDITION. Title within architectural arch. With rare final leaf containing printer’s mark. ff. 87 (1). Lightly browned and stained in places, previous owner’s marks on title. Fine Modernist morocco binding featuring interlocking geometric forms, gilt dentelles. 12mo. [Vinograd, Mantua 44; Mehlman 1261.] Mantua, Joseph ben Jacob of Padua, 1557. $5000 - $7000 ❧ Collection of fables synthesizing the European Aesopian tradition with animals who converse in a Biblical Hebrew, comfortably interspersing their conversations with Talmudic aphorisms. Final three pages contain a description of the game of chess written in an elegant rhymed prose by Bonsenior ibn Yachya. For a brief discussion of the author and summary of the text, see M. Steinschneider, Schach bei den Juden (1873) pp. 86-7; and V. Keats, Chess, Jews and History (1995) pp. 182-85.