(2) Valmadonna Trust Library, MS 7
David Solomon Sassoon, Ohel Dawid, Descriptive Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts (Oxford, 1932), Vol. I, no. 49, p. 24;
[C. Abramsky], Important Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts from the Collection formed by the Late David Solomon Sassoon (New York, 1981), no. 12;
Brad Sabin Hill, Manuscripts and Early Printed Books from the Library of the Valmadonna Trust; an exhibition at the Pierpont Morgan Library (New York, 1989), no. 4;
L.A. Meyer, "Jewish Art in the Moslem World," in C. Roth (ed.), Jewish Art, (London, 1971), pp. 132–136, pl. 163.
The earliest Hebrew manuscript illuminations appeared in the Near East and surviving examples, from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries, usually paralleled prevailing trends in contemporary Islamic art. Following the decline of the Palestinian, Egyptian and Syrian schools of illumination by the fourteenth century, the Yemenite school developed in the fifteenth century and flourished.
Called the Keter in Hebrew and the Taj in Arabic, or "Crown," the Pentateuch was the most popular part of the Yemenite Bible, and was often prepared as an independent volume. This Pentateuch resembles other Yemenite Bibles of the period with its square, bold script. It is, however, quite remarkable in its profusion of rustic decoration, employing stylized representations of birds, flowers, and shrubs or trees, as well as various geometric patterns. Nevertheless, it remains consistent with Oriental Hebrew manuscript tradition, studiously avoiding all manner of textual illustration.
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