142
142
Rare Hebrew Alphabet Chart, Venice: [ca. 1750]
Estimate
4,0006,000
LOT SOLD. 8,125 USD
JUMP TO LOT
142
Rare Hebrew Alphabet Chart, Venice: [ca. 1750]
Estimate
4,0006,000
LOT SOLD. 8,125 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Judaica

|
New York

Rare Hebrew Alphabet Chart, Venice: [ca. 1750]
1 broadsheet (18 5/8 x 14 1/4 in.; 473 x 362 mm). Enlarged incipits; woodcut illustration at center. Slight scattered staining; some letters gone over with pen; small hole in rightmost column not affecting text; slightly jagged edges; backed with Japanese conservation paper.
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Catalogue Note

This decorated Venetian alphabet chart was intended for use in a classroom setting. It features the twenty-seven letter forms of the Hebrew alphabet (twenty-two basic forms and five final forms) pointed with all twelve Hebrew vowel signs, as well as the first paragraph of the Shema, abridged versions of the Kedushah and grace after meals, the blessings recited before eating different categories of food, various biblical verses (including the entirety of Psalms 23, 67, and 91), and other food- and ritual-related blessings. In the center is a woodcut illustration portraying a class of pupils, with an angel flying overhead showering treats upon the good students and a teacher on the left-hand side punishing a naughty one.

Charts like this one were printed in Italy beginning in 1656 and continued to be published well into the nineteenth century. While the basic structure and contents of these pedagogic broadsheets remained the same throughout that period, subtle alterations were introduced over time, including changes to the ages of the children represented in the woodcut and the eventual inclusion of Latin script and Arabic numerals alongside Hebrew characters. One particularly interesting feature of the present chart is the accommodation of the Ashkenazic, Sephardic, and Italian prayer rites for the asher yatsar and hashkivenu blessings, a liturgical testament to the multicultural character of early modern Venetian Jewry.

Literature

Isaac Yudlov, “Luhot alef-beit italkiyyim,” Kiryat sefer 62,3-4 (1988-1989): 930-932.

Important Judaica

|
New York