Spotlight on Judaica

Occurring just a week before the Jewish holiday of Passover, Swann Galleries’ April 2 auction of Fine Books offers significant Judaica works, including desirable early and modern haggadot.

Among the sale’s Judaic highlights are a rare copy of Seder Haggadot shel Pesah, the first Italian illustrated example and the only book in Hebrew printed entirely from woodblocks, Mantua, 1560 (bottom left); Seder Haggadah shel Pesah ke-Minhag Ashkenaz u-Sefarad, Amsterdam, 1695, the first printed haggadah with engravings rather than woodcut illustrations; and the “Szyk Haggadah,” the most celebrated modern illustrated haggadah (top), elaborately designed by Arthur Szyk, one of 125 copies on vellum, signed by Szyk and editor Cecil Roth, in the original gilt-pictorial blue morocco binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, London, 1939.

Another important work featured in the sale is the original edition in Spanish of Mikveh Yisrael, Manasseh Ben Israel’s treatise on the fate of the 10 lost tribes, published in Amsterdam, 1650 (bottom right), and the first edition in English, entitled The Hope of Israel, published the same year in London.