MESHAL HA-KADMONI (FABLES), ISAAC IBN SAHULA, [VENICE]: MEIR BEN JACOB PARENZO, [CA. 1546-1547]
MESHAL HA-KADMONI (FABLES), ISAAC IBN SAHULA, [VENICE]: MEIR BEN JACOB PARENZO, [CA. 1546-1547]
MESHAL HA-KADMONI (FABLES), ISAAC IBN SAHULA, [VENICE]: MEIR BEN JACOB PARENZO, [CA. 1546-1547]
MESHAL HA-KADMONI (FABLES), ISAAC IBN SAHULA, [VENICE]: MEIR BEN JACOB PARENZO, [CA. 1546-1547]
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MESHAL HA-KADMONI (FABLES), ISAAC IBN SAHULA, [VENICE]: MEIR BEN JACOB PARENZO, [CA. 1546-1547]

Estimate: 35,000 - 50,000 USD

MESHAL HA-KADMONI (FABLES), ISAAC IBN SAHULA, [VENICE]: MEIR BEN JACOB PARENZO, [CA. 1546-1547]

Estimate: 35,000 - 50,000 USD

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Lot Details

Description

MESHAL HA-KADMONI (FABLES), ISAAC IBN SAHULA, [VENICE]: MEIR BEN JACOB PARENZO, [CA. 1546-1547]


64 folios (7 3/8 x 5 1/4 in.; 186 x 131 mm) on paper. Printer’s device on title page; eighty woodcut illustrations (some of them repeats) interspersed throughout. Slight scattered staining; dampstaining; minor worming in gutters and/or upper-outer corners intermittently throughout, mostly repaired and usually not affecting text; library stamp removed from margin of f. 9; individual words expurgated on f. 10r (censor’s signature [?] on f. 65v). Modern blind-tooled calf, slightly scratched; spine in six compartments with raised bands; title, place, and date lettered in gilt on spine; red upper and outer edges; modern paper flyleaves and pastedowns.

Cataloguing

Catalogue Note

Meshal ha-kadmoni, by Rabbi Isaac Ibn Sahula (b. 1244), is an illustrated collection of moral fables and animal stories in rhymed prose interspersed with verse. Ibn Sahula, a scholar, physician, and kabbalist, writes that his material is original but based on the Talmud and midrashim and that in style he has followed the example of the prophets who presented moral lessons in allegorical form. In composing this work, one of his goals was to demonstrate that Hebrew was as suitable a vehicle for conveying ethical teachings as Arabic. The stories themselves betray both kabbalistic and Indian influence. Eighty woodcut illustrations (some of them repeats) grace the leaves of this book, with an average of one or two captioned images per folio. Though modeled on the program of illustration of the incunable editions (Brescia, ca. 1491; Italy, ca. 1497), the present imprint, issued by Meir ben Jacob Parenzo, features an entirely new series of woodcuts providing greater detail and artistic sophistication.


Provenance

Leon (f. 13v)


Literature

A.M. Habermann, Bibliography of Meshal ha-kadmoni Editions, Kiryat sefer 29 (1953): 199-203, at p. 201 (no. 3).


A.M. Habermann, “Ha-madpisim benei r. ya‘akov parenzo be-venetsi’ah,” Areshet 1 (1959): 61-90, at p. 67 (no. 2).


A.M. Habermann, “The Jewish Art of the Printed Book,” in Cecil Roth (ed.), Jewish Art: An Illustrated History, revis. Bezalel Narkiss (London: Vallentine, Mitchell, 1971), 163-174, at pp. 169-170.


Marvin J. Heller, The Sixteenth Century Hebrew Book: An Abridged Thesaurus, vol. 1 (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2004), 332-333.


Chaim and Betzalel Stefansky, Sifrei yesod: sifrei ha-yesod shel ha-sifriyyah ha-yehudit ha-toranit (n.p.: Chaim and Betzalel Stefansky, 2019), 130 (no. 460).


Vinograd, Venice 319

Sacred Splendor: Judaica from the Arthur and Gitel Marx Collection
Live Auction Begins:20 Nov 2019 | 03:00 PM GMT