Auction No. 113

Famous personalities, Art, Seforim, Letters from Rabbis and Rebbes

Apr 8, 2019

Auction No. 113

Opening $ 1,800
Estimate $ 4,000 - $ 5,000

Precise, deluxe facsimile edition of the famed 14th century Barcelona Haggadah by Facsimile Editions, a company that prides itself in "reproducing ancient manuscripts with unparalleled accuracy." Limited, numbered edition. London, 1996.

This spectacular haggadah was originally written with large letters so that it can be used while in the "leaning" position on seder night. It was artistically illuminated in color and integrated with gold decorations. Copy no. 100 of 550, full leather binding, two volumes in a deluxe package. Identical to the original manuscript, including certificates of authenticity stamped by the British Library and "Facsimile Editions" themselves.

The haggadah is divided into two volumes:
Volume I with the haggadah itself: 322 pages, 27x20 cm. 128 pages are illustrated, 180 pages include the text of the haggadah, and all the other pages include various hymns and prayers for Passover. Printed on special paper specially created by a small workshop in the Alps and known as the best-ever imitation vellum.
Volume II features [1] 175 pages explaining how the facsimile in the first volume was created, the binding process, translations and elucidations to the haggadah text and hymns, a bibliography and more. English.
Pages 60-61 features a unique, deep illustration of a round matzah, dominantly placed at center of the page with the text 'מצה זו שאנו אוכלין' ['this matzah which we eat']. The picture strays from the realm of art to that of commentary, as the matzah symbolizes the world. Those with sharp eyes can discern the four musicians at the four corners of the illustration blowing towards the "world." Researchers believe that this blowing symbolizes the four winds of the heavens. Refer to: Kitvei Yad Ivriim Mitzuyarim, by Betzalel Narkis, p. 91.

Interestingly, when the Barcelona Haggadah was written and illustrated, people did not generally believe that the world was round. Different and strange shapes, but not necessarily round. It was only later that Magellan and Elcano conclusively proved that the Earth is round. As such, it is can be said that the illustrators of this haggadah were before their time with their perception of the shape of the world, perhaps because it was so written in the Zohar much, much earlier.

New condition. Never used, in the original package.

Passover Haggadahs