163
163
The First of the Maccabees, Isaac M. Wise, Cincinnati: Bloch & Co., Office of The Israelite, 1860
Estimate
4,0006,000
JUMP TO LOT
163
The First of the Maccabees, Isaac M. Wise, Cincinnati: Bloch & Co., Office of The Israelite, 1860
Estimate
4,0006,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Judaica

|
New York

The First of the Maccabees, Isaac M. Wise, Cincinnati: Bloch & Co., Office of The Israelite, 1860
180 pages (8 1/2 x 5 5/8 in.; 215 x 139 mm) on paper; double-column text; headers throughout. Moderate foxing throughout. Modern calf; gilt title on spine; outer paper edges speckled; modern paper flyleaves and pastedowns.
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Catalogue Note

Isaac Mayer Wise (1819-1900), a Bohemian-born and -trained rabbi, achieved renown in the United States as the architect of American Reform Judaism. Beginning his American career in Albany, NY, he would go on, in 1854, to become the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Cincinnati, OH, where he remained until the end of his life. Shortly after his arrival, he started publishing a national weekly, The Israelite (changed to American Israelite in 1874), as well as a German supplement called Die Deborah. Through The Israelite, Wise was able to disseminate his ideas about Jewish life and share news from all parts of the Jewish world. Both papers also served as platforms for Wise to serially publish his novels (eleven in English and sixteen in German), often under the pseudonym “The American Jewish Novelist.”

The present lot, a copy of the rare first edition of Wise’s The First of the Maccabees, appeared originally in installments in The Israelite and subsequently in book form. The work, which treats the historical period between the rise of the Hasmoneans and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, was one of a series of books he wrote in order to provide the English-reading Jewish public with good literature that celebrated the bold courage and assertions of national independence of Jews in past eras. In his memoirs, Wise would later reflect that this novel was one of a small group that had “a telling influence on thousands of readers in the way of arousing patriotism and a desire for Jewish learning […] Thousands of copies of the last-named stories were sold in a second edition.”

This copy of the book bears the additional distinction of having been owned by Abraham Ephraim Frankland (1831-1895), a British-born Jew who immigrated in his youth to the United States. In 1845, he moved with his family to Nashville, TN, where he became one of its first Jewish settlers, and in March 1850, they relocated to Memphis, where he operated a store and became a partner in a public auction company that dealt in real estate, the slave trade, furniture, and groceries. He was later appointed by Wise to be director (1868-1870) of the Cincinnati-based B’nai B’rith District Grand Lodge No. 2, comprising all B’nai B’rith lodges in the area west of the Alleghenies and east of the Rockies.

Provenance

A. E. Frankland (front flyleaf and title)

Literature

Hasia R. Diner, A Time for Gathering: The Second Migration 1820-1880 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), 211.

Robert Singerman, Judaica Americana: A Bibliography of Publications to 1900, vol. 1 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990), 313 (no. 1697).

Isaac M. Wise, Reminiscences, ed. and trans. David Philipson (Cincinnati: Leo Wise and Company, 1901), 337.

Important Judaica

|
New York