Lot 6
  • 6

Collection of Responsa, Halakhic Extracts, Customs and Glosses [Italy: 15th century]

25,000 - 35,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • ink, paper
115 leaves (8 1/4 x 6 in.; 211 x 152 mm), written in brown ink on paper in Ashkenazic semi-cursive Hebrew script, modern foliation in ink; dampstaining at top margin and lower fore-edge, occasionally muddling text; inkstain, f 18, affecting some text; marginalia throughout. About 50 leaves with artless repairs to margins or lower corners, final leaf encapsulated, a bit of marginal soiling and worming, library stamps on fols. 71v, 73v, and 114v.Three early owners’ notes (two mounted on front free endpaper; the third, encapsulated in mylar and loose within the volume). Modern green morocco; housed in a complementary quarter morocco over cloth clamshell box; lettering pieces with titles gilt.


Moise Soave, Venice (owner’s inscription, fol.1r); Solomon Halberstam (shelf no. 345); Montefiore Collection (with stamps of Yeshivat Ohel Moshe ve-Yehudit-Judith Lady Montefiore College; among the 412 volumes acquired from Halberstam in 1892 by Moses Gaster); Purchased by the present owner: Important Hebrew Manuscripts from the Montefiore Endowment, Sotheby's NY, October 27, 2004. lot 101.


Hartwig Hirschfeld, Catalogue of the Hebrew MSS. of the Montefiore Library and of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Jews' College, London, 1904  (ms. no.108), provides an index listing the names of over 150 persons and about 75 cities and countries mentioned in this manuscript, as well as a few dozen French words; A. Marmorstein, in theJewish Quarterly Review, 19 (1928/9), pp. 22-31 and in the Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, 12 (1931), pp. 107-115, discussed the importance of the material in this manuscript for the study of medieval Anglo-Jewry; M. Beit-Arie, The Making of the Medieval Hebrew Book, 1993, p.130 refers to Hebrew scribal tradition in England, which is reflected in this manuscript.

Catalogue Note

A collection of responsa, halakhic extracts, customs and glosses. The paragraphs were numbered 1-974 by a later hand, but the beginning and end of the codex are missing and the original manuscript probably included well over 1,000 paragraphs. The collection was compiled in the fifteenth century, probably in Italy, but encompasses material from much earlier French, German and English authorities and even some from the Geonim. The writings in this manuscript were edited or cited in dozens of scholarly publications on medieval Jewish history in Europe and its resources have not been exhausted.  A previous owner, Moise Soave of Venice copied some of the texts and added brief summaries or headings in the margins.