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54

MISHNEH TORAH, SEFER NASHIM (FAMILY LAW), RABBI MOSES MAIMONIDES, [YEMEN: 15TH CENTURY]

Estimate:

18,000 - 26,000 USD

MISHNEH TORAH, SEFER NASHIM (FAMILY LAW), RABBI MOSES MAIMONIDES, [YEMEN: 15TH CENTURY]

MISHNEH TORAH, SEFER NASHIM (FAMILY LAW), RABBI MOSES MAIMONIDES, [YEMEN: 15TH CENTURY]

Estimate:

18,000 - 26,000 USD

Lot sold:

50,400

USD

MISHNEH TORAH, SEFER NASHIM (FAMILY LAW), RABBI MOSES MAIMONIDES, [YEMEN: 15TH CENTURY]


278 of about 316 pages (9 1/2 x 7 3/8 in.; 241 x 185 mm) (collation: [i1-10 lacking], ii9 [ii1 lacking], iii-vi10, vii9 [vii1 lacking], viii9 [viii5 apparently inserted], ix-xi10, xii8 [xii9-10 lacking], xiii7 [xiii1-2,10 lacking], xiv-xv10, xvi7 [xvi8-10 lacking]) on Yemenite (unmarked) paper; modern pagination in pencil in Arabic numerals in upper-outer corners; first and last folios of each quire signed and decorated in black and red ink at head and foot, respectively, of recto and verso, respectively (some signatures partially cropped); written in Yemenite square script in black ink in two different hands (pp. 1-20 written in one hand, pp. 21-278 in another); single-column text of eighteen to twenty-two lines per page; ruled with a mastara (ruling board); justification of lines via dilation or contraction of letters, abbreviation, insertion of hyphens/space fillers, and slanted inscription of final words (producing a “carpet fringes” effect); original catchword on p. 18 (later catchword on p. 16); episodic Babylonian vocalization of text; marginalia and corrections added intermittently throughout (see, e.g., pp. 35-36, 71-72, 101, 109, 137, 147, 155). Chapter numbers generally enlarged and written (pp. 1-20) or outlined (pp. 21-278) in red, with either two rubricated decorative devices on either side (p. 15) or rubricated configurations of three dots positioned between words (pp. 21-278); each halakhah number surmounted by a triangular configuration of three black dots; Tetragrammaton represented via three yodin in a row or two yodin flanking a dotted vav; top line of p. 45 filled with diamond-shaped configurations of black dots to indicate that it was intentionally left blank. Lacking 20 folios (40 pages), though the final folio was likely blank; slight scattered staining; dampstaining; corners rounded; upper and lower edges worn at some points; minor wormholes affecting individual letters on pp. 1-6, 253-278; tear in outer edges of pp. 11-14 and in upper edges of pp. 117-118, slightly affecting text; small holes in upper margins of pp. 41-42 and in middle of pp. 133-134, not affecting text; worming in lower edges of pp. 107-166 and in upper edges of pp. 153-170; some damage in middle of pp. 125-129; tear repaired in upper margins of pp. 161-162; slight damage to upper-outer corner of pp. 277-278; tape repair along gutter of pp. 277-278. Modern brown buckram; shelf mark lettered in gilt on spine; paper label on spine; modern paper flyleaves and pastedowns.


One of only about six pre-sixteenth-century near-complete Yemenite copies of Sefer nashim to have come down to us, and of these one of three in private hands.


The present lot comprises Sefer nashim, the fourth book of the Mishneh torah, which treats the laws of marriage and divorce, levirate marriage and halitsah (the dissolution of a levirate relationship), sexual violence and abuse, and the sotah (wayward wife). The text here is written in two clear Yemenite hands, features decorative rubrication, and is nearly complete, lacking only twenty leaves, mostly at the beginning and end of the manuscript.


Contents

pp. 1-98: Hilkhot ishut 4:7b-19:19a;

pp. 99-130: Hilkhot ishut 20:7b-end;

pp. 130-210: Hilkhot geirushin 1:1-13:29a;

pp. 211-224: Hilkhot yibbum va-halitsah 2:11b-4:24a;

pp. 225-251: Hilkhot yibbum va-halitsah 4:26b-end;

pp. 251-262: Hilkhot na‘arah betulah 1:1-end;

pp. 262-278: Hilkhot sotah 1:1-4:6a.


Literature

David Solomon Sassoon, Ohel Dawid: Descriptive Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London, vol. 2 ([Oxford]: Oxford University Press; London: Humphrey Milford, 1932), 700 (no. 1013).

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