SIDDUR (DAILY PRAYER BOOK) ACCORDING TO THE ROMAN RITE, BOLOGNA: RAPHAEL TALMI AND THE GUILD OF SILK WEAVERS, 1537
 SIDDUR (DAILY PRAYER BOOK) ACCORDING TO THE ROMAN RITE, BOLOGNA: RAPHAEL TALMI AND THE GUILD OF SILK WEAVERS, 1537
 SIDDUR (DAILY PRAYER BOOK) ACCORDING TO THE ROMAN RITE, BOLOGNA: RAPHAEL TALMI AND THE GUILD OF SILK WEAVERS, 1537
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SIDDUR (DAILY PRAYER BOOK) ACCORDING TO THE ROMAN RITE, BOLOGNA: RAPHAEL TALMI AND THE GUILD OF SILK WEAVERS, 1537

Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 USD

SIDDUR (DAILY PRAYER BOOK) ACCORDING TO THE ROMAN RITE, BOLOGNA: RAPHAEL TALMI AND THE GUILD OF SILK WEAVERS, 1537

Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 USD

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Lot Details

Description

SIDDUR (DAILY PRAYER BOOK) ACCORDING TO THE ROMAN RITE, BOLOGNA: RAPHAEL TALMI AND THE GUILD OF SILK WEAVERS, 1537


354 folios (5 1/4 x 3 3/8 in.; 133 x 86 mm) (collation: i-xxxi8, xxxii10, xxxiii-xliv8) on parchment. Title within architectural border; six ornamental woodcut initial word panels; accompanied by two pages of Schocken’s (?) handwritten listing of expurgated words (see below). Slight scattered staining; small wormhole in outer margins of ff. [1-3]; minor crack in gutter at head of ff. [117-158]; individual words and phrases expurgated intermittently throughout (see, e.g., ff. [78v, 117r]); repair in outer margin of f. [352]; censor’s signatures on ff. [353v-354r]: Camillo Jaghel 1613, Renato da [Modena] 1626; Luigi [da Bologna] 1601. Modern morocco, bound by F.A.T. Aitken; binding scuffed and worn around edges and on spine; spine in five compartments with raised bands; title, place, and date lettered in gilt on spine; gilt and guaffered edges; modern paper flyleaves and pastedowns. Housed in a blue silk-lined folding case, by Riviere & Son; silk somewhat threadbare in places and case slightly scuffed; spine in six compartments with raised bands; title, place, and date lettered in gilt on spine.

Cataloguing

Catalogue Note

A deluxe copy printed entirely on parchment, from the collection of Salman Schocken.


Between 1537 and 1540, a remarkable guild of Jewish silk weavers operated a Hebrew press in Bologna. They printed nine books, among them three liturgies according to the Italian/Roman rite. The present prayer book, which includes the first edition of the Seder ma‘arekhet eliyyahu, a series of daily biblical readings arranged by the eleventh-century Rabbi Elijah ha-Zaken of Le Mans, might be the first product of their press. Rich in piyyutim (liturgical poems), it contains prayers for weekdays, Sabbaths, festivals, the High Holidays, and fast days, accompanied by brief instructions and explanations.


The silk weavers were not the first Hebrew printers in Bologna. Nearly half a century before, in 1482, Abraham ben Hayyim the Dyer (dei Tintori) of Pesaro issued a Hebrew Pentateuch and, in about 1483, published the Five Scrolls with Rashi’s commentary (see lot 12). The activities of the dyer of the incunable period and of the silk weavers of the late 1530s reflect, no doubt, the involvement of craftsmen of other specialized trades (especially relevant to ink work) in the formative years of Hebrew printing.


A small number of sixteenth-century Hebrew books are known to have been printed on vellum. Normally, several copies on parchment – longer-lasting than paper, but also more challenging as a printing medium – were prepared for wealthy patrons or for presentation. The present siddur, printed entirely on parchment, testifies to the refined tastes of the Bologna silk weavers, who strove in the production of their prayer books to fulfill the halakhic injunction of hiddur mitsvah (beautifying ritual objects).


Provenance

Sengre (f. [1r])


Salman Schoken (ff. [1v, 137v, 154v, 353v])


Aldeham Abbey (bookplate on pastedown of lower board)


Literature

I. Joseph Cohen, “Bibli’ogerafyah shel mahzorim ve-siddurei tefillah lefi minhag benei roma,” in Samuel David Luzzatto, Mavo le-mahzor benei roma (Tel Aviv: Devir, 1966), 103-137, at p. 125 (no. 47).


Aron Freimann, “Die hebräischen Pergamentdrucke,” Zeitschrift für hebræische Bibliographie 15 (1911): 46-57, 82-92, at p. 55 (no. 62).


Chaim and Betzalel Stefansky, Sifrei yesod: sifrei ha-yesod shel ha-sifriyyah ha-yehudit ha-toranit (n.p.: Chaim and Betzalel Stefansky, 2019), 114 (no. 410).


Vinograd, Bologna 9


Isaac Yudlov, “Defusei kelaf be-beit ha-sefarim ha-le’ummi ve-ha-universita’i,” Kiryat sefer 68 (supplement) (1998): 261-273, at p. 268 (no. 17).


Isaac Yudlov, “Hebrew Books Printed on Vellum in the Valmadonna Trust Library,” in David Sclar (ed.), Treasures of the Valmadonna Trust Library (London & New York: Valmadonna Trust Library, 2011), 52-83, at p. 69 (no. 14).

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