158
158
Seder Haftarot Kol ha-Shanah (Readings from the Prophets for the Entire Year), Amsterdam: David de Castro Tartas, 1666
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 18,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT
158
Seder Haftarot Kol ha-Shanah (Readings from the Prophets for the Entire Year), Amsterdam: David de Castro Tartas, 1666
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 18,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Judaica

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New York

Seder Haftarot Kol ha-Shanah (Readings from the Prophets for the Entire Year), Amsterdam: David de Castro Tartas, 1666
124 leaves + 14 pp. (5 5/8 x 3 1/2 in.; 143 x 90 mm). Hebrew title page with engraved borders and contemporary hand-coloring in glorious hues with keywords highlighted in gold, with text in a contemporary hand. Calendar includes three foldout tables. ff. (2), 329-446, (4); pp. 14pp. Light stains, trace foxed. All edges gilt and gauffered. Blond calf, panelled gilt, plural cornerpieces. Housed within cloth slipcase.
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Literature

Fuks, Amsterdam 443; EJ (orig. ed.), Vol. XIV, col. 1229 (facs. of a variant title page)

 

Catalogue Note

For a brief period in 1666, Jews around the world came to believe that the long awaited Messiah had finally appeared in the person of Sabbatai Tzvi, a charismatic kabbalist from Izmir, Turkey. The widespread belief, shared by a majority of contemporary Jews, was short-lived and widely disavowed after Sabbatai Tzvi converted to Islam in the autumn of that same year. During the brief time that most of world Jewry believed the messiah had arrived, numerous publications appeared that alluded to the messianic era through both title page images and the use of chronograms that incorporated messianic themes. Though the text of this volume of Haftarot is devoid of any Sabbatian content, the chronogram emphasizes the word Nosha, from Deuteronomy 33:29, a clear messianic reference.

There are in fact versions of the title page of this work which are explicitly Sabbatian in nature, but following the messianic pretender's sudden conversion to Islam in the Autumn of 1666, these were replaced by the version seen here, in which only the outer frame was printed and the space for text left blank in the center. The contemporary scribe or artist who filled in the text and so beautifully decorated the title page, left out most of the Sabbatian imagery which appears in other copies. However, the crown at the top of the page, in some books from 1666 is seen inscribed with the words Ateret Tzvi (Crown of [Sabbatai] Tzvi) and the messianic chronogram hint at the turmoil and uncertainty that gripped the Amsterdam community just as this book came to press.

It is most likely that this volume was issued together with the Pentateuch that appeared the same year (see Fuks, Amsterdam 443). There is a slight possibility, however, that the Haftarot were also issued independently.

Literature: L. Fuks, Hebrew Typography in the Northern Netherlands 1585-1815, II (1987), p. 341; G. Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah (1975), pp. 524-527; 528, n. 144; A.M. Habermann, A History of the Hebrew Book (Hebrew), p. 104.

 

Important Judaica

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New York