Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

The Kennicott Bible [SIGNED BY THE PUBLISHER]

London: Facsimile Editions, 1985. Limited Facsimile edition. Hardcover. 1/500. Folio. 97, [1]pp (Commentary volume), 453 leafs (Bible). Commentary volume: Original brown morocco with blind-embossed lettering on front cover and blind tooling on spine. Raised bands. Numbered certificate carrying the stamp of the Bodleian Library laid in. Certificate signed by the publisher. Bible: Original brown morocco goatskin box binding, blind-embossed on all six sides with handmade dies. All edges gilt with 23 carat gold leaf. Both books are housed in their original publisher's velvet lined clamshell box. The Kennicott Bible is the most lavishly illuminated Hebrew Bible to survive from medieval Spain and combines Islamic, Christian, and popular motifs. It has an inscription identifying the artist, rare in Hebrew manuscripts. The Bible owes its name to the English Hebraist Benjamin Kennicott (1718-83), who acquired it while librarian of the Radcliffe Library, Oxford. The history of the manuscript between the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and the 18th century remains a mystery. Published as a sumptuous facsimile after five and a half years in the making, the Kennicott Bible facsimile, inspired and enthusiastically supported by the late David Patterson, was acclaimed by many libraries, including the Bodleian Library, as the best quality that had ever been achieved in a facsimile. This was partly due to the excellent condition of the original manuscript, but to a greater extent to the undiminishing quest for perfection at every stage of its reproduction. The manuscript contains the entire Tenakh (Old Testament) together with RaDaK’s (Rabbi David Kimchi) Sefer Mikhlol, a grammatical treatise on the Tenakh. Two hundred and thirty-eight of the 922 pages of the Bible are illuminated with lively colors, burnished gold and silver leaf: 24 canonical book headings, 49 parashah headings structured with gold in different motifs featuring figures in many colors, 27 lavishly-illuminated arcaded pages framing the text of the Sefer Mikhlol, 9 fully illuminated carpet pages, 150 psalm headings, numbered and illuminated with gold and silver. In a unique statement at the end of the manuscript, the Jewish artist Joseph Ibn Hayyim writes his own colophon. The commentary volume deals with the physical description of the manuscript, and tells the story of its creation and programme. The illustrations are studied for their style and origin and the unique artistry of Joseph Ibn Hayyim is discussed in a special chapter interpreting his relations to both the older and contemporary art of Spain. This fascinating story is told in a popular manner, with the thorough knowledge of experts augmenting the understanding of the Kennicott Bible for laymen and scholars alike. One of 500 copies, Box in overall fine condition, with bindings in fine and interior in fine condition. vg. Item #34440

Price: $6,750.00