Sotheby’s to offer Property from the Delmonico Collection of Important Judaica New York, New York – On December 17, 2008, Sotheby’s will offer an important single-owner collection of Hebrew
manuscripts and rare printed books from the Delmonico Collection of Important Judaica.
those that illustrate
varying interpretations of the laws of eruvin
(boundaries), established an iconography closely
followed in many subsequent editions.
First edition of the entire Mishnah, Naples, 1492, with commentary of
Maimonides (est. $120/140,000)
Babylonian Talmud, Tractated Shevu’ot
Printed on Blue Paper by Daniel Bomberg,
Venice, 1521 (est. $15/20,000)
The collection also includes an extremely rare and exquisite fifteenth-century illuminated Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible,
manuscript on vellum completed by Levi ben Aaron Halfan in Florence, 1489 (est. $150/200,000). The acme
of the Hebrew scribal arts, the execution of the complete text of the twenty-four books that make up the bible requires
a special degree of care not present in other contemporary manuscripts. The addition of dozens of decorative elements
ranging from the full-page illuminations to striking colored pen and ink drawings and the hundreds of scribal flourishes
found in this manuscript all contribute to its unique quality and character.
A rare example of a tikkun, or reader’s copy of
the Pentateuch, dated 1486 from Northern Italy,
will also be featured (est. $100/150,000). The
outstanding feature of this extraordinary volume is
the presence of two complete copies of the entire
text of the Pentateuch arranged side-by-side in the
center of every page. One column has the familiar
text found in most Pentateuch manuscripts, with
nikkud (vocalization), trop (cantillation) and
punctuation, while the other column has only the
words of the text as they appear in a Torah scroll, devoid of any punctuation, vocalization or cantillation. This side-byside
arrangement allows for the memorization of these missing elements and facilitates the reader’s preparation for a
public liturgical recitation using a Torah scroll.
Also included will be Latin incunabula and early printing including the elegant first edition of Poliziano with the first use
of Hebrew type by Aldus (1498, est. $15/20,000), the first edition of Sabellicus’s history of Venice (1487, est.
$15/20,000), and both editions of the Polyglot Psalter from Genoa 1516 (est. $15/20,000) and Cologne 1518 (est.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium
Tikkun, or reader’s copy of the Pentateuch, 1486