Sotheby’s to hold annual sale of Important Judaica New York, New York – On December 17, 2008 Sotheby’s New York will hold its annual sale of Important Judaica,
comprising important manuscripts, books, ceremonial metalwork, carpets and textiles, and p
year before immigrating to Eretz, Israel
to begin his famed Hebrew school of art. The work was inscribed
and presented to his beloved daughter Angelika, from whom he was separated as a result of his divorce. Also included
from the Estate of Boris Schatz will be The First Mitzvah (est. $10/15,000), The Rabbi’s Blessing (est.
$10/15,000), and Yehudit ($12/15,000).
Ze’ev Ragan, Passover Haggadah, 1925
Leading the paintings to be offered is an exquisitely rendered Portrait of a
Rabbi by Isidor Kaufmann, (est. $200/300,000). This portrait captures
the essence of a rabbi devoted to his faith. Pensive and solemn, the
model, garbed in a conventional black silk caftan and Wolkenbruchspodek
(fur hat), stands before an ornate Torah curtain, likely purchased by the artist
during his many journeys to Eastern Europe. The subject's red beard and
tooled covered prayer book blend with the golden hues of the work's
background, creating a superbly harmonious composition. The frontal view,
used most frequently by Kaufmann, places the observer's perspective slightly
below the figure's composed gaze, thus enhancing the sitter's contemplative
and dignified air.
Also featured is an important collection of Jewish Rugs and Carpets from the
Collection of Anton Felton, who fifty years ago began his exploration of the
genre and in 1997 published the first-ever book surveying the category, entitled Jewish Carpets. The eighteen lots on
offer from Mr. Felton’s collection this December demonstrate the diversity and
universality of Jewish carpets. They reflect many different aspects of Jewish
history and culture, recording messages and events ranging from religious and
political to charitable and personal. This array of carpets include a mid-19th
century silk carpet from Kashan portraying King Solomon and the Queen of
Sheba (est. $20/30,000), as well as another example from Kashan dating to
1936 illustrating Moses and the Ten Commandments (est. $5/7,000).
Also on offer are Bezalel and Marbadiah rugs (estimates range from $5,000
to $15,000), produced in Jerusalem between 1906 and 1929. These early
carpets, whose designs characterize the Art Nouveau form in Jewish art,
include The Songs of Songs and a rare example depicting menorahs
against the Jerusalem skyline, both estimated at $8/12,000. Rounding out
the collection is a lot of ten Chenille Rugs which were made in Jerusalem in
the Alliance Israelite Universelle School depicting pivotal figures of Zionism,
among them: Theodore Herzl, Lord Balfour and Chaim Weizmann (est.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium
Isidor Kaufmann, Portrait of a Rabbi
King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba,
Kashan 19th century (est. $20/30,000)