155
155
The Haggadah, Executed by Arthur Szyk, Edited by Cecil Roth, London: Beaconsfield Press, Limited, [1940]
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 56,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
155
The Haggadah, Executed by Arthur Szyk, Edited by Cecil Roth, London: Beaconsfield Press, Limited, [1940]
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 56,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Judaica

|
New York

The Haggadah, Executed by Arthur Szyk, Edited by Cecil Roth, London: Beaconsfield Press, Limited, [1940]
118 pages (11 1/8 x 9 3/8 in.; 282 x 238 mm) printed on double-vellum sheets (two connected vellum leaves with the flesh sides facing inward) with Hebrew and English calligraphic text in variously colored inks. Fourteen full-page and numerous smaller color halftone reproductions of Szyk’s drawings, including decorative initials, vignettes, and border decorations. Minor staining in outer edges of first and final folios; first folio slightly warped with remnants of removed sticker still present on recto; small mark in pen at foot of first folio recto. Original blue crushed morocco elaborately gilt; covers tooled with image of a Hebrew prophet after Szyk; spine gilt in seven compartments with raised bands, gilt title and author credits in two of them; turn-ins gilt, by Sangorski and Sutcliffe; silk doublures printed with a monochromatic illustration of Moses supporting the Ten Commandments. Housed in original three-quarter morocco folding case, lightly worn and slightly stained.
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Catalogue Note

Limited edition, number 90 of 125 vellum copies signed by Szyk and Roth for sale in the United States.

This Haggadah represents the culmination of a more-than-one-thousand-year-old tradition of illuminated Hebrew manuscripts dating back to the Middle Ages. Upon its publication, The Szyk Haggadah was described by the Times Literary Supplement of London as “a book worthy to be placed among the most beautiful of books that the hand of man has produced.” Each individually illuminated text is an example of both extraordinary artistic accomplishment and of profound scholarship. There could be no more fitting subject than the Haggadah for this milestone collaboration between Arthur Szyk (1894-1951), the Polish refugee and internationally acclaimed illuminator, and Cecil Roth, the preeminent British doyen of Jewish history, who edited the text and appended a historical introduction.

Given the unfolding events in Nazi Europe, the Haggadah became, for Szyk, a personal and political statement. Dedicating his Exodus narrative to King George VI, Szyk acknowledged the key role that England, his temporary place of residence, had to play in Jewish survival: “At the Feet of Your Most Gracious Majesty i [sic] humbly lay these works of my hands, shewing forth the Afflictions of my People Israel. arthur szyk [sic], illuminator of Poland.” Of his accomplishments, Szyk wrote in French on the page opposite the title: “I am but a Jew praying in art, and if I have worked, if I have succeeded to some degree, if I have been favorably accepted among the elite of society, I owe it all to the teachings, traditions, and eternal virtues of my people.”

Literature

Irvin Ungar, “Telling the Story: A History of the Szyk Haggadah,” in Byron L. Sherwin and Irvin Ungar (eds.), Freedom Illuminated: Understanding the Szyk Haggadah (Burlingame, CA: Historicana, 2008).

Avraham Yaari, Bibli’ogerafyah shel haggadot pesah me-reshit ha-defus ve-ad ha-yom (Jerusalem: Bamberger & Wahrman, 1960), 159 (no. 2285).

Isaac Yudlov, Otsar ha-haggadot: bibli’ogerafyah shel haggadot pesah me-reshit ha-defus ha-ivri ad shenat [5]720 (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1997), 271 (no. 3713).

Isaac Yudlov, “Defusei kelaf be-beit ha-sefarim ha-le’ummi ve-ha-universita’i,” Kiryat sefer 68 (supplement) (1998): 261-273, at p. 273 (no. 42).

Important Judaica

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New York