Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters, Ceremonial Art Books, Manuscripts & Rabbinical Letters

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The Auction was held on 28/08/18

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Auction 62 Lot Number 1

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Handwritten Parchment Leaf which Served as Binding – Part of a Manuscript of Piskei HaRosh with Hagahot Asheri – Germany, 15th Century

Handwritten parchment leaf, a section from Piskei HaRosh with Hagahot Asheri. [Germany, ca. end of 14th century or beginning of 15th century].
The leaf was cut for use in binding. Ashkenazic semi-cursive script, one gloss from Hagahot Asheri is in smaller writing, in a "window". This fragment contains Piskei HaRosh to Tractate Moed Katan, Chapter III (sections 80-85).
Three other leaves of this manuscript have survived and were bound at the end of a Rav Alfas manuscript (British Library, Margoliouth Catalogue no. 474) from 1386, containing passages of Tractates Moed Katan (Chapters I and III), Sukkah and Berachot. It seems that those leaves were also used in binding. See enclosed material.
[1] parchment leaf. Loss of text due to trimming to size of binding. Height: 19.5 cm. Width: 29.5 cm. Fair condition. Stains, some particularly dark. Several holes affecting text.

Opening300$ Sold For615$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 2

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Collection of Leaves of Ancient Manuscripts from the Middle Ages Originating from Geniza – Oriental Countries

Collection of ancient handwritten leaves, which were retrieved from geniza. Mostly complete leaves.
· Gathering of six leaves out of a manuscript composition on Mitzvot, in Judeo-Arabic, from a chapter discussing the laws of ritual slaughtering. It appears to be a Karaite work. Early oriental square script. [13th/14th century].
[6] leaves, [12] written pages. 18 cm. 21 lines per page. Fair condition. Stains and wear. Large tears affecting text in several places.
· Two leaves, out of a medical composition in Judeo-Arabic. Early oriental semi-cursive script. [14th/15th century]. Out of chapters on eye care. A diagram appears on p. [3].
[2] leaves, [4] written pages. 17.5 cm. 15-16 lines per page. Fair condition. Stains, tears and wear, affecting text.
· Two leaves, three of the pages contain Arabic inscriptions (presumably concerning commerce), and the fourth page contains lists in Arabic in Hebrew script. Early oriental semi-cursive script. [15th century?].
[2] leaves, [4] written pages. 18 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains, wear and tears, affecting text.

Opening500$ Sold For2,952$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 3

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Leaf Fragments of the Radak Commentary – Printed in Guadalajara, Spain, 1482 (Incunable)

Nine leaf fragments from a "binding geniza" – the Radak commentary on Neviim Acharonim (Yeshaya), printed in Guadalajara (Spain): R. Shlomo Alkabetz, 1482.
The margins contain completions of verses in Sephardic handwriting from the time of the printing. The leaves contain passages of the commentary to Yeshaya, Chapters 19, 21-26.
Nine leaves. Average height: 21 cm. Varying degrees of damage, as a result of the binding. Stains and tears, professionally restored. Bound.
The printing press of R. Shlomo Alkabetz of Spain (grandfather of the Kabbalist R. Shlomo Alkabetz [the second] of Safed, author of Lecha Dodi), was the first Hebrew printing press in Spain, and one of the first Hebrew printing presses in the world. The press published approximately twenty books, including the first printing of the Passover Haggadah (in 1480).

Opening1,500$ Sold For2,214$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 4

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Collection of Leaves from a “Binding Geniza” – Leaves from the Naples 1492 Edition of the Bible – Handwritten Leaf with “Reshut L’Haftarot”, 16th Century

Collection of ancient leaves from a "binding geniza":
· 13 leaves from an edition of Neviim and Ketuvim, Naples: Joshua Solomon ben Israel Natan Soncino, [ca. 1492].
The collection consists of the following leaves (this book is apparently the first book printed with pagination): Kohelet – leaves 119-120; "Achashverosh" (Megillat Esther) – leaves 122, 128; Yeshaya – leaves 228, 245; Daniel – leaves 376, 379-380; Divrei HaYamim – leaves 426-429.
· Handwritten leaf, "Reshut prior to the Haftara", an Aramaic piyyut beginning with "Berich Elaka Ilaa…". Cursive Sephardic script [16th century?]. The top of the page bears a calligraphic signature (undeciphered).
[14] leaves. 30 cm. Leaves severely damaged from binding, repaired on both sides with transparent netting, and bound together. Severe stains and tears, affecting text, signs of past dampness and damage. Old binding, damaged.

Opening500$ Sold For5,412$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 5

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Minhag Avot Tanya – First Edition – Mantua, 1514

Minhag Avot Tanya. Customs and laws. [By R. Yechiel son of R. Yekutiel Anav, author of Maalot HaMiddot]. Mantua: Shmuel Latif, 1514.
Printed without a title page. Printer's colophon appears on the last page, dated Sivan 1514 in Mantua. The leaf with the table of contents is bound at the beginning of the book.
Short explanatory glosses, in early Italian script.
This book is an abridgement of Shibolei HaLeket, with many additions. It was arranged as a halachic composition accompanying the Italian-rite siddur (Minhag Bnei Roma). The book was printed anonymously, but in various editions was attributed to R' Yechiel son of R' Asher (the Rosh) and to R' Yechiel son of R' Tzidkiya.
[100] leaves. 19 cm. Good-fair condition, most of the leaves are in good condition. Stains. Light wear to some of the pages. Worming in a few places, some of it restored. Restored tears, several tears repaired with adhesive tape. New leather binding.
In following editions, the composition was called Tanya Rabata or Tanya Rabati. About the author and the composition, see: I.Z. Feintuch, Masorot V'Nuschaot BaTalmud, Ramat Gan 1985, pp. 65-76; Y. Ta-Shema, in: Italia, 11, 1995, pp. 48-49.

Opening4,500$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 6

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Seder Olam Raba / Seder Olam Zuta / Megillat Taanit / Sefer HaKabbalah – Mantua, 1513

Seder Olam Raba, Seder Olam Zuta, Megillat Taanit and Sefer HaKabbalah of the Raavad. Mantua: Samuel ben Meir Latif, [1513].
Complete copy. Printed without title page. The last leaf contains a colophon: "Sefer HaKabbalah of the Raavad was completed here in Mantua… [1513]".
This is the first printed edition of four important historiographical works: Seder Olam Raba – attributed to the Tana R. Yossi ben Chalafta, a chronological-Midrashic composition on the order of the generations and the events from Adam until the times of Alexander the Great; Seder Olam Zuta – summary and appendage of Seder Olam Raba enumerating 89 generations from Adam until Mar Zutra who was executed close to the end of the fifth century; Megillat Taanit – early composition containing a list of 36 festive days in the year when it is prohibited to fast, due to joyful events that occurred on those days. The book is composed of two parts, "Mishna" and "Gemara". The "Mishna" is written in Aramaic with a short note of the event and the "Gemara" is written in Hebrew with a longer account of the event. The Aramaic part is from the time of the Second Temple and the Hebrew part is from the time of the Talmud and later; Seder HaKabbalah, by Rabbi Avraham ibn Daud (known as "Raavad I"), a Spanish scholar of the 12th century – historical chronology from the time of the Bible until his time, "a history of Rome from the day it was built until the beginning of the rule of Yishmael" and the "history of Jewish kings during the Second Temple era". This work is the source for the famous story Arbaat HaShevuyim (The Four Captives), which was the foundation for the establishment of the Torah center in Spain.
A handwritten inscription appears on p. 50b. Several censor deletions on two leaves. Censors' signatures.
[51] leaves. Printed without title page. 20 cm. Fair-poor condition. The entire book was professionally restored - margins, worming and tears repaired with paper. Some leaves replaced from another copy. Stains. Severe worming to many leaves, affecting text. Repaired tears. New leather binding, with damage.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening2,000$ Sold For2,706$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 7

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Sefer HaRokeach – Fano, 1505 – First Edition – Signature of Rabbi “Natan bar Menachem”

Sefer HaRokeach, composed by Rabbi Elazar [of Worms] son of R. Yehudah. Fano: Gershom Soncino, Erev Pesach 1505. First edition.
A foremost halacha and ethics book. "Proofread with great precision by R. Yehuda Yaaleh of Pesaro". According to many bibliographers, this is the first Hebrew book to be printed with a title page.
R. Elazar of Worms (1145-1225) was the son and disciple of R. Yehuda son of R. Kalonymus of Mainz, and disciple of R. Yehuda HaChassid, author of Sefer Chassidim, who transmitted Kabbalistic secrets to him. He composed approximately thirty books, and is known for this book as the Rokeach.
Censor's deletions in several places.
An ownership inscription in early Ashkenazic script appears at the head of p. [34a]: "Just as I have merited to acquire it, so may I merit to complete it, so says Natan bar Menachem". This may be the signature of R. Natan bar Menachem Egra, a German Torah scholar who came to Italy in the time of the Maharam of Padua, serving in the rabbinate of Italian towns - Venice, Cremona and others. The Maharam of Padua exchanged Halachic correspondence with him, writing about him: "Surely he does not need my Talmudic interpretations". A responsum from him is published in Responsa Binyamin Zev.
[107] leaves. Originally: [109] leaves. Title page and index leaf missing (replaced with photocopies). 26.5 cm. Light-colored, high-quality paper. Fair condition. Stains, worming. Repaired damage and tears. New binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening600$ Sold For1,599$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 8

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Arbaa Turim – Fano, 1516 – Printed by Gershom Soncino – Incomplete Copy

Arbaa Turim. [Fano]: Gershom Soncino, [1516].
Incomplete copy. Even HaEzer section complete. Yoreh De'ah lacking the beginning and starts in the middle of section 198. Choshen Mishpat lacking the end, ending in the middle of section 245. Without Orach Chaim.
Initial words within woodcut borders at the beginning of Even HaEzer and Choshen Mishpat.
Ownership inscriptions, at the end of Yoreh De'ah and the end of Even HaEzer, of "Moshe Nehardea", who acquired the book in 1798 (he is known to have owned a manuscript of piyyutim, in 1785, currently in the Manchester Library – Gaster Collection 135).
[163] leaves (originally: [322] leaves). Lacking title page (replaced with photocopy), lacking leaves from the beginning of Yoreh De'ah and the end of Choshen Mishpat (lacking a total of 159 leaves). Even HaEzer is complete. 31.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Worming to a few leaves. Marginal repairs to first and last few leaves. New binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening1,000$ Sold For3,690$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 9

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e Rudimentis Hebraicis – Rudiments of Hebrew – Dictionary of Hebrew Words and Hebrew Grammar by Johann Reuchlin – First Edition – Pforzheim, 1506

De Rudimentis Hebraicis liber primus (First Book of Hebrew Rudiments), by Johann Reuchlin. [Phorce (Pforzheim): Thomas Anshelm, 1506]. Latin, with Hebrew words.
The first edition of Johann Reuchlin's book, the first Hebrew dictionary and grammar book for Christian scholars. This book was known to have great impact on the development of the study and research of Hebrew texts by Christians in the Renaissance and Hebraism period.
Marginal handwritten notes and inscriptions in Latin on some leaves.
The author, Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1522) was a foremost German humanist and Hebraist.
[1], 606 pages. Originally: [1], 620, [5] pages. Lacking 10 last leaves (replaced with photocopies): pp. 607-620, [5], including the leaf with Reuchlin's coat of arms. Right to left pagination, slightly faulty. 28 cm. Thick, high-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Marginal creases to some leaves. Tears (the first leaf was professionally restored). New binding.

Opening1,500$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 10

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Shaarei Teshuva – Constantinople, 1511

Shaarei Teshuva, by Rabbeinu Yonah HaChassid of Girona. Constantinople: David and his son Samuel ibn Nachmias, [1511]. Second edition.
The famous book of Rabbeinu Yonah Gerondi (of Girona), a foremost ethics book. This book has been printed over the years in close to one hundred editions.
Printed without title page. The colophon states: "The heavenly work was completed, beautiful, sevenfold refined… in Constantinople on Rosh Chodesh Adar II [1511]".
[39] leaves. (Originally: [40] leaves. Lacking first leaf - replaced with photocopy). 18.5 cm. Fair-poor condition. Eight leaves at the end of the book were replaced from a different copy. Stains. Worming and tears (repaired), affecting the text (the book was professionally restored). Large open tears to the last two leaves (with loss, also slightly affecting the colophon). New parchment binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening1,000$ Sold For2,337$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 11

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Beit HaMidot (Maalot HaMidot) – Constantinople, 1511 – First Edition

Beit HaMidot (Maalot HaMidot), by R. Yechiel Anav. Constantinople: [Samuel son of David ibn Nachmias, 1511]. First edition.
This is the first edition of the famous ethics book Maalot HaMidot, which in this edition is named Beit HaMidot.
Colophon: "The work was completed… by the workers… R. Shmuel Rikomin and R. Astruc de Toulon… and this book was completed on Tishrei 4, [1511] in Constantinople…".
Incomplete copy. [68] leaves. (Originally: [72] leaves. Lacking [4] leaves: the first two leaves - including the title page, leaf [69] and the last leaf. Three of the lacking leaves were replaced with photocopies). 19 cm. Fair condition. Stains. Signs of past dampness to some of the leaves. Worming and tears (repaired) affecting text (the book was professionally restored). Large tears to approx. 20 leaves in various places, affecting text (occasionally replaced with photocopies). New leather binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening1,000$ Sold For1,230$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 12

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Three Incomplete Books Printed in Constantinople – 1510, 1514, 1517

Three incomplete books printed in Constantinople early in the 16th century:
1. Midrash Mishlei. [Constantinople, 1517]. First edition.
Year of printing is according to A. Yaari, HaDefus HaIvri BeKushta, Jerusalem 1967, p. 76, no. 53.
[11] leaves Originally: [12] leaves. The title page is missing and replaced with photocopy). Fair-poor condition. Stains and wear. Worming and tears (repaired), affecting text (the leaves were professionally restored). New binding.
2. Pirkei Rabbi Eliezer. [Constantinople: Yehuda Sasson, 1514]. Second edition.
[22] leaves. Originally: [44] leaves (lacking title page and leaves from the middle and end of the book). 17 cm. Fair condition. Stains. Tears (repaired), affecting text. New binding.
3. Torat Kohanim, Sifra [D'Vei Rav], with the Raavad's commentary. [Constantinople, ca. 1510]. First edition.
The printing of this edition was never completed. The printing of the book was evidently interrupted in the middle of Parshat VaYikra. Altogether, [42] leaves were printed. Here is a section of the book containing [8] leaves.
[8] leaves. Originally: [42] leaves. 26 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains. Severe worming and tears (repaired) affecting text (the leaves were professionally restored). New binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening800$ Sold For2,706$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 13

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Toldot Yitzchak – Constantinople, 1518 – First Edition – Two Incomplete Copies

Toldot Yitzchak, commentary on the Torah, by R. Yitzchak son of R. Yosef Karo. [Constantinople, 1518]. Printer unknown. First edition.
Two copies lacking title pages. One of the copies is lacking another seven leaves.
The book was printed and sold section by section. See: Avraham Yaari, HaDefus HaIvri BeKushta, Jerusalem 1967, p. 77, no. 59.
The last page contains closing words by "the youngest of printers, Shlomo son of… R. Mazal Tov". The colophon states: "The work was completed… on Wednesday Elul 18, [1518] in Constantinople…".
The author, R. Yitzchak Karo, an exile of Spain and Portugal, was the uncle of R. Yosef Karo author of the Shulchan Aruch, who consulted him on Halachic matters. He lectured in Turkish communities, and left for Eretz Israel in 1518 (the year he printed this book). It is unclear whether he reached his destination or was delayed in Damascus where he remained until his passing.
Copy I: [2]-[101] leaves. Lacking title page. 23 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains and wear. Signs of past dampness. Worming affecting text. Some detached leaves. Repairs. New binding.
Copy II: [8]-[22], [24]-[101] leaves. Lacking first seven leaves (including title page) and leaf [23]. 25 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains. Open marginal tears and worming, affecting text, professionally restored. Significant open tears to several leaves, professionally restored. New binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening600$ Sold For1,107$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 14

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Midrash Tanchuma – First Printed Edition of Tanchuma – Constantinople, 1520-1522 – Glosses

Midrash Tanchuma, called Yelamdenu Rabbenu. [Constantinople]: Solomon son of Mazal Tov, [1520-1522]. First edition.
Two columns per page. Pages [64b-65a] contain only one column per page.
Colophon: "The work of the Midrash was completed… 1522".
Several glosses, some lengthy (and trimmed), in Sephardic-Oriental script. Lengthy gloss (slightly trimmed), signed: "Eliyahu Philoso[ph]". A gloss beginning with: "A.M.K.".
[107] leaves (originally: [110] leaves). Lacking title page (replaced with a photocopy), and leaves [56] and [110] from the middle and end of the book, which were originally blank leaves. 28.5 cm. Condition varies, good-fair. Stains. Signs of past dampness and minor mold stains to some leaves. Partially repaired worming, affecting text. Repaired tears. Several leaves replaced from another copy. New leather binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening1,500$ Sold For1,845$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 15

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Kol Bo – Constantinople, 1520 – Early Glosses

Kol Bo. [Constantinople, 1520].
The book Kol Bo is an anthology of laws and customs from the time of the Rishonim, the identity of its author is subject to dispute.
Printed without title page.
Several lengthy early notes, in Oriental script (Yemen?), containing various selections including laws, customs and their reasons, according to homiletic and Kabbalistic teachings.
2-164 leaves. Lacking the first leaf (replaced with a photocopy), leaf 140 appears twice. 30 cm. Fair condition. Dark stains, tears and wear. Most leaves are repaired. Large marginal tears to several leaves, affecting text in several places, repaired with paper. Some of the leaves were replaced from another copy. Several detached leaves. New binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening600$ Sold For1,230$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 16

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Neve Shalom – Constantinople, 1538-1539 –Signatures

Neve Shalom, philosophical composition, on the topics of faith, Kabbalah and nature, Torah attributes, prophecy and sacrifices, by R. Avraham son of R. Yitzchak Shalom (Spanish scholar, died in Spain in the year of the expulsion). Constantinople: Eliezer ben Gershom Soncino, [1538-1539]. First edition.
Colophon on the last page: "Completed on Friday 13th Sivan [1539]".
Signature on the first leaf: "Meir Santi" (possibly R. Meir Santa, Rabbi of Nagykanizsa. See: Ishim BiTshuvot Chatam Sofer, p. 250). Two unidentified signatures on the last page.
[191] leaves. Originally: [196] leaves.Missing the title page and four leaves [181-184] in the middle of the book. 20.5 cm. Good condition. Stains and signs of past dampness. A few tears. Slight worming. Original leather binding, slightly damaged.
The Bibliography of the Hebrew Book records [194] leaves, whereas OCLC records [196] leaves. When comparing this copy against the digitized copy on the HebrewBooks website, it became clear that originally there were [196] leaves.

Opening400$ Sold For1,722$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 17

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Rabbeinu Bachyei on the Torah – Pesaro, 1517 – Glosses

The Rabbeinu Bachyei commentary on the Torah, by Rabbeinu Bachyei ben Asher ibn Halawa. [Pesaro: Gershom Soncino, 1517].
Dozens of notes in early Ashkenazic script (some trimmed). Most consist of corrections, some of additions and novellae. Some lengthy notes. In Parashat Balak, particularly lengthy notes appear at the foot of the pages.
[272] leaves (originally: [274] leaves. Lacking the title page and last leaf). An additional leaf was bound at the end of the book (from the Pesaro 1507 edition of the Rabbeinu Bachyei commentary). The first leaf, within an illustrated border (originally leaf [2]), was bound back-to-front (to give it the appearance of a title page). 29 cm. High-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains, dampstains. Wear to the first leaves. Marginal tears to several leaves. Only the front cover remains, detached.

Opening3,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 18

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Psakim U’Ktavim (Terumat HaDeshen) by Rabbi Yisrael Isserlein – Venice, 1519 – Printed by Daniel Bomberg – First Edition – Signature of Rabbi Shlomo Molcho and a Gloss Signed “Says Shlomo Molcho”

Psakim U'Ktavim, by R. Yisrael Isserlein. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, [1519].
First edition of the book. Terumat HaDeshen, responsa of R. Yisrael Isserlein, was printed concurrently that year. In later editions, the two compositions were printed as one composition comprised of two parts, entitled Terumat HaDeshen (with a distinction between the responsa part and the part of Halachic rulings).
The title page bears a signature: "I, the young Shlomo Molcho". A note in his handwriting appears beside section 191 (p. [33b]): "Says Shlomo Molcho, it should read…". In the next section (192), he added vocalization to Yiddish words. It appears that this writer and signee is R. Shlomo Molcho (d. 1788), a scholar of Salonika and Kabbalist in Jerusalem, known as Baal HaShemanim (after his books Shemen Zayit Zach and Shemen Mishchat Kodesh, printed in Salonika in 1779), descendant of the martyr R. Shlomo Molcho, who was executed by the Inquisition in 1532.
Several brief notes in early Ashkenazic script.
[52] leaves. Lacking one leaf (the middle one) of the three leaves of indexes at the end. 24 cm. Fair condition. Stains, dampstains, tears and wear. Worming to several leaves, slightly affecting text. Minor worming to other leaves. New binding.

Opening500$ Sold For1,845$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 19

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Chiddushei HaRashba on Tractate Berachot – Venice, 1523 – Printed by Daniel Bomberg – First Edition

Novellae on Tractate Berachot by the Rashba (R. Shlomo ibn Aderet). Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1523. First edition.
Printed concurrently to three other books: Chiddushei Gittin and Chiddushei Chulin by the Rashba, and Chiddushei Baba Batra by the Ramban. The four books are known as "Chiddushei Arba Shitot L'HaRashba V'Ramban".
46 leaves. (Originally: 47 leaves. Lacking title page). 23 cm. High-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Minor worming. Signs of past dampness. Tear (repaired) to the first leaf, without loss. Note in late script on leaf 15. Ownership inscription on leaf 17. Detached gathering. Without binding.

Opening500$ Sold For1,107$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 20

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Mikneh Avram – Venice, 1523 – Hebrew Edition

Mikneh Avram, Hebrew grammar, by the physician and grammarian R. Avraham de Balmes. [Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1523]. First edition.
Vocalized Hebrew edition. Another edition with Latin translation was printed concurrently - see next item.
Leaf [4] contains an illustration of the Hebrew alphabet according to "the script of Ever HaNahar (beyond the river) as I found it in an ancient book".
On leaf [143]: "Shaar B'Taamei HaMikra, by myself Kalonymus son of R. David Kalonymus, to complete the book Mikneh Avram by R. Avraham de Balmes, who passed away and didn't merit to complete the book".
Two censor deletions. Censor's signature on the last leaf.
[157] leaves. 20 cm. Good condition. Most of the leaves are thick, high-quality paper. Several darkened leaves. Stains. Minor wear to title page and other leaves. New binding. Bookplate.

Opening1,000$ Sold For1,845$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 21

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Mikneh Avram – Venice, 1523 – Hebrew-Latin Edition – Impressive Copy

Mikneh Avram, Hebrew grammar, by the physician and grammarian R. Avraham de Balmes. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, [1523].
Hebrew (vocalized) and Latin face à face. The translation is presumably by Kalonymus ben David Kalonymus, who wrote the last section of the book - Shaar B'Taamei HaMikra, and brought the book to print.
A poem in Latin in honor of Daniel Bomberg appears on the verso of the title page, followed by an introduction in Latin by Daniel Bomberg. Also the author praises Bomberg in his preface.
Another Hebrew-only edition was printed concurrently - see previous item. The layout of the Hebrew text is almost identical. In this edition, each row is numbered.
[314] leaves. 21 cm. Fine copy in very good condition. High-quality paper, wide margins. Stains, handwritten inscriptions. Early leather-covered wooden binding, without the clasps.

Opening1,000$ Sold For2,214$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 22

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Sefer HaShorashim by the Radak – Venice, 1529

Sefer HaShorashim, the second part of the Michlol by R. David Kimchi (the Radak). Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1529.
Beside column 254, there is a gloss in Oriental script, signed: "Shalom Yisrael".
The last leaf contains two poems praising this edition, composed by R. Eliyahu Ashkenazi (Bachur): "…this work was printed six times… but this printing is recognized for its beauty and correctness…".
[2] pages, 5-570 columns, [2] pages. 29.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Signs of past dampness. Mold stains to the margins of the last leaves. Slight worming, not affecting text. A few censor deletions. Non-original binding. Damage to the binding. Bookplate.

Opening1,200$ Sold For2,706$ Including buyers premium

Auction 62 Lot Number 23

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Responsa Binyamin Ze’ev – Venice, 1538 – Corrections in the Author’s Handwriting

Binyamin Ze'ev, Halachic responsa and rulings, Parts 1-2, by R. Binyamin Ze'ev ben R. Matitya. [Venice]: Daniel Bomberg, [1538].
This copy contains corrections in the author's handwriting: corrections appear on pp. 260a, 405b and 501b in R. Binyamin Ze'ev's handwriting, and a lengthy addition in his handwriting appears on p. 456b, signed with the following words: "So it seems to me, the layman" (as R. Binyamin Ze'ev commonly refers to himself in his book).
Apart from these notes, there are three scholarly notes by a different writer, two of which are signed: "A.Y." (pp. 200a, 302a, 504a).
This book was brought to print by its author, R. Binyamin Ze'ev ben Matitya of Arta, Greece, one of the greatest halachic authorities of his generation, and was the first book of halachic responsa to be published by its author. The book aroused great controversy due to several halachic decisions it contains which some leading Italian rabbis strongly contested, and R. Binyamin was dismissed from his position as rabbi of Arta in its wake. Some changes were made during the printing, including the omission of sections 255-256 (at the end of Part 1) "in order to maintain peace", and their replacement with two leaves of new text. The book was proofread by R. Binyamin Ze'ev alone, as he writes in the colophon at the end of the book, and the great trouble this entailed caused mistakes to creep into the printing. After the initial printing, R. Binyamin Ze'ev proofread and corrected some of the copies by hand.
Great importance has been ascribed to this book in halachic literature, though some halachic authorities banned it following the opposition it aroused. It is interesting to quote the words of the Maharshal, his contemporary, who contested one of the halachic decisions in the book, and relates to the errors which in his opinion crept into the book: "If he is righteous, why did G-d allow an error to come about through him? Was he not the writer, who brought the book to print in person?". The Rema, however, lists the author among the greatest halachic authorities and relies upon his decisions. (About the book, the controversy it aroused and the differences between the copies, see: Meir Benayahu, Introduction to Sefer Binyamin Ze'ev, Jerusalem, 1989).
Copy lacking beginning of Part 1 and end of Part 2: 81-367, [2], 376-399, 399-573 leaves. (Missing leaves 1-80 at the beginning of the book, and last 2 leaves at the end of Part 2, in the middle of the eulogy on the author's son). 20 cm. Good-fair condition. Thick, high-quality, light-colored paper. Stains. Wear to some of the leaves. Worming in several places. The lengthy glosses are trimmed. A loose gathering in the middle of the book. Acidic adhesive paper strips on the margins of the [2] leaves at the end of Part 1. Old binding, worn and damaged.

Opening1,400$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 24

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Two Early Editions of Responsa of the Rashba – Bologna, 1539 / Venice, 1545

Two editions of Responsa of the Rashba:
· Responsa, by R. Shlomo ibn Aderet (the Rashba). Bologna, [1539]. First edition.
Handwritten notes and sources on many leaves. Signatures appear on pp. 64b and [200b]: "I, Yisrael son of R. Aharon…". Additional inscriptions.
[16], [1]-167, 167-216 [i.e. 215] leaves. Mispaginated. The [16] leaves of indexes usually appear at the beginning of the book with an additional title page ("Simanei She'elot U'Teshuvot"). In this copy, the title page of the book was bound before the indexes, and the title page of the indexes is detached (with tears, wear and worming, repaired), apparently from another copy. 26 cm. Good-fair condition. Thick, high-quality paper. The bottom half of the title page (of the book) is lacking and repaired. Stains. Worming, some repaired. Signs of past dampness and mold stains to some leaves. New binding.
· Responsa of the Rashba, by R. Shlomo ibn Aderet. Venice: Justinian, 1545.
Handwritten notes and sources on many leaves. The title page bears signatures: "Yehuda Leib Rofe"; "Avraham Scadri[?]".
192 leaves. 24.5 cm. Overall good condition. Stains. Tears (repaired) to title page. Small tears and damage to the last leaf. New leather binding. Slipcased.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.

Opening1,200$ Sold For2,460$ Including buyers premium
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