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The Form of Prayers According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Edited by Isaac Leeser, Philadelphia: 1846-1853
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161
The Form of Prayers According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Edited by Isaac Leeser, Philadelphia: 1846-1853
Estimate
15,00020,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Judaica

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The Form of Prayers According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Edited by Isaac Leeser, Philadelphia: 1846-1853
6 volumes:

Vol. 1 (Daily Prayers): 208 folios (8 3/4 x 5 1/2 in.; 222 x 140 mm).

Vol. 2 (Rosh Hashanah): 163 folios (7 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.; 190 x 114 mm).

Vol. 3 (Yom Kippur): 338 folios (7 1/2 x 4 5/8 in.; 190 x 117 mm).

Vol. 4 (Sukkot): 232 folios (7 3/8 x 4 5/8 in.; 187 x 117 mm).

Vol. 5 (Passover and Shavuot): 247 folios (7 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.; 190 x 114 mm).

Vol. 6 (Fast Days): 217 folios (7 3/8 x 4 3/4 in.; 187 x 120 mm).

See the Condition Report for further details.


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Catalogue Note

A rare set of the second edition of Leeser’s Sephardic prayer book with distinguished American provenance.

Isaac Leeser (1806-1868), a German-born immigrant to America, would ascend to prominence in his adoptive country not only as cantor and acting rabbi of Philadelphia’s Sephardic Congregation Mi(c)kveh Israel, but also as editor of The Occident and American Jewish Advocate, the first successful national Jewish newspaper; founder of several important Jewish communal institutions; and translator of a number of basic Jewish texts, including the Hebrew Bible (1845).

The present lot is a rare set of the second edition of Leeser’s Sephardic prayer book (Hebrew title: Siddur siftei tsaddikim) for the entire liturgical year (the first edition had appeared in five hundred copies in 1837-1838). In the preface to the first volume, which was printed in 1846 by C. Sherman, Leeser expresses his gratitude for having been able to revise his earlier work and not-so-subtly requests additional funds for the publication of the following parts. By 1853, he seems to have received the necessary monies, as in that year he printed the last five volumes with Slote & Mooney. (The title page of the last part, the liturgy for fast days, has the date [5]624 [1864], but the colophon [f. 215v] states that the work was finished 28 Av [5]613 [September 1, 1853].)

In addition to its rarity and remarkable state of preservation, the set is also noteworthy for its distinguished provenance. Some of the volumes were owned by the likes of Israel Baer Kursheedt (1766-1852), a successful businessman active in the American Jewish community, including as president of New York’s Shearith Israel Congregation; the wife of Adolphus Simeon Solomons (1826-1910), a leader in American social welfare programs and member of the central committee of the Alliance Israélite Universelle; and Esther E. Solis, apparently a Philadelphia-based member of the storied Da Silva Solis family.

Provenance

Vol. 1:

Gillah (rear flyleaf)

Vol. 2:

Mrs. A. S. Solomons (upper board)

Esther E. Solis (upper flyleaf)

Vol. 3:

Israel Bear [sic] Kursheedt (title, f. 168v [part 1], f. 144r [part 2])

Vol. 5:

Mrs. A. S. Solomons (upper board)

Literature

Ephraim Deinard, Kohelet america: yakhil reshimat kol ha-sefarim asher nidpesu ba-america mi-shenat [5]495 (1735) ad shenat [5]686 (1926) u-bikkoret ketsarah kim‘at al kol sefer, vol. 2 (St. Louis: Moinester Printing Company, 1926), 143 (no. 933).

Yosef Goldman, Hebrew Printing in America 1735-1926: A History and Annotated Bibliography, vol. 1 (Brooklyn: Yosef Goldman, 2006), 42 (no. 36).

Robert Singerman, Judaica Americana: A Bibliography of Publications to 1900, vol. 1 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990), 190 (no. 939), 247 (no. 1282), 326 (no. 1779).

Vinograd, Philadelphia 17, 20

Important Judaica

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New York