142
142
Hebrew Bible, Mikraot Gedolot (Biblia Rabbinica), Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1524-1525
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 28,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT
142
Hebrew Bible, Mikraot Gedolot (Biblia Rabbinica), Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1524-1525
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 28,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Judaica

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Hebrew Bible, Mikraot Gedolot (Biblia Rabbinica), Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1524-1525

4 volumes, folio (16 ½ x 11 in.; 420 x 280 mm). collation: I: 16, 1-288, 294=234 leaves; II: 30-548, 559 [of 10, lacing only the final blank]=209 leaves; III: 56-818, 823=212 leaves*; IV: 83-1188, 11910=298 leaves. Four titles within woodcut architectural frames, woodcut headpieces. Soiling and staining. Volume I: ff.1-3 soiled and strengthened at gutter; Volume II: occasional dampstaining and attendant soiling; final leaf mounted, affecting a few letters which have been replaced in ms. Volume III: title extended, affecting a portion of architectural frame, replaced in ms.; first quire strengthened, some leaves extended; final leaf remargined affecting some text. An assembled copy of uniformly sized and wide margined volumes. Vols. I, II of a set, edges gilt and gauffered; vol. III edges marbled; vol. IV sprinkled edges. Variously bound; bindings defective.

*[N. B. Owing to the sophisticated nature of the set, quires 112-119, comprising 66 leaves of Masoretic apparatus, which are normally found only at the end of volume IV, are here found BOTH IN VOLUME III AND AGAIN IN VOLUME IV. Thus, this lot contains these 66 leaves in duplicate. The additional 66 leaves are NOT recorded in the above collation for vol. III]


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Literature

Vinograd, Venice 99; Haberman 93; Steinschneider 52; Darlow & Moule 5085

Catalogue Note

An extremely large copy of the second Biblia Rabbinica, the first to include the Masorah

In 1516, Daniel Bomberg, a wealthy Christian, was granted the privilege of publishing Hebrew books in Venice. Among the first works he printed in 1516-17 was the Mikra'ot Gedolot (Rabbinic Bible) a folio edition of the entire Bible with the leading commentaries. Pope Leo X gave his imprimatur for this book and Felix Pratensis, a monk who had been born a Jew, was the editor. Bomberg published the edition because of growing interest in the Hebrew language and the Bible among learned Christians. An adept businessman, Bomberg quickly perceived that there was also a substantial market for Hebrew texts among the Jews of Italy, whose numbers had been increased by an influx of Spanish and Portuguese Jews exiled from the Iberian Peninsula. The commentaries of Rashi, Nahmanides, and Gersonides attracted the Jewish clientele, but the editorship of an apostate and the blessing of the Pope led many Jews to avoid the 1516-17 edition.  Six years after his first Rabbinic Bible appeared in 1524, Daniel Bomberg printed a second edition. No effort was spared to produce the finest Bible possible.  It was printed in four volumes each with its own title page. The initial word of each book is set within a large decorative woodcut frame surrounded by a square made up of lines, varying in number, comprising the masoretic rubrics. At the end of each book is the masoretic summary. Each page is arranged in four columns, with the inner columns comprising the biblical text and the Aramaic translation, Targum Onkelos. The outer columns contain the commentaries of Rashi and ibn Ezra. Above and below the inner columns is the Masorah Magna and in the space between these two columns is the Masorah Parva. In the narrow outer column are portions of the Masorah Parva that did not fit between the text and Targum.

This time Bomberg emphasized that his printers were pious Jews, as was his scholarly editor, Jacob ben Haim ibn Adonijah. The second Rabbinic Bible became the determinative biblical text, first for Jews and subsequently for the scholarly world as well. All future editions reflect this outstanding edition. Bomberg's press was active until 1549 and more than two hundred Hebrew books were produced in his shop.

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