Lot 178
  • 178

An Important Micrographic Illustrated Omer Calendar [Dov Margolioth, Germany, ca. 1830]

50,000 - 70,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • paper
pen and ink on paper.
height 23 in.; width 26 1/2 in.
58 cm; 67.5 cm

Micrography, the scribal practice of employing minuscule script to create abstract shapes or figurative designs, is an art form that has been used by Jews for over a millennium. This intricate decorative technique was first practiced in Egypt and the Land of Israel in the tenth century. In the centuries following the advent of printing, micrography continued to be used to decorate ketubbot (marriage contracts) and wall hangings.  This outstanding example of the micrographers’ art comprises the entire text of four books of the Hebrew Bible (Esther, Ruth, Song of Songs and Lamentations) as well as an Omer Calendar for enumerating the days between Passover and Shavuot.  In addition to a profusion of flora and fauna, four biblical characters are portrayed. At left are Queen Esther and her servant Hatakh, while at right are King Solomon and Bithia (Batya), the daughter of Pharaoh. A remarkably similar micrographic Omer Calendar, apparently by the same artist, features the same decorative motifs and illustrative style as the present lot and is in the collection of the Skirball Cultural Center Museum in Los Angeles (catalog # 39.37.) It is signed Dov Margolioth, son of Rabbi Asher Selig of Szczebrzeszyn, who completed the work in 1830 in Bonn, Germany.


Leila Avrin, Hebrew Micrography as Art, Jerusalem and Paris: 1981 (similar)