London: Facsimile Editions, 1992. Limited edition. Hardcover. 281/500 plus 50 copies numbered I to L. Signed certificate of authenticity from the British Library and the publisher laid in. Quarto. , 175pp. Blind-tooled brown calfskin over boards with rounded corners in original calfskin-lipped hand-marbled slipcase. Companion volume in top edge gilt with deckled fore and bottom page edges. Deckled pages to facsimile volume on thick, uncoated neutral pH vegetable parchment simulating the original vellum; pages aged and individually trimmed to the size of its original. Facsimile reproduction of The Barcelona Haggadah, recognized as one of the finest illuminated Hebrew manuscripts in London's British Library. Dating from the mid-fourteenth century, it is named after the heraldic shield it bears, which resembles the arms of Barcelona. At the time of its creation, the Jews of Catalonia and Aragon represented one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. Central to Jewish scholarship of the period was the presence of Barcelona's thriving production of illustrated Hebrew manuscripts, which were directly influenced by French and Italian styles and linked to the Spanish court.
Illustrated throughout on 138 pages with color illuminations, figures and scenes depicting Jewish cultural and religious life in Spain and the exodus story. Printed by offset lithography in 12 colors with hand-applied, raised gold metallic leaf on 105 pages, and special metallic powders in gold and “tarnished” silver. Written in large script, eight lines per page, the Haggadah text covers 180 pages. The remaining pages are comprised of Laws for Passover, liturgical songs (piyyutim) and Torah readings for the Passover festival according to the Spanish custom, along with poems and Aramaic piyyutim and Targumim according to the custom of Provence France. Commentary volume includes a translation of the text, essays on the content (including the 27 musical instruments portrayed in the illuminations), the provenance and making of the manuscript and a bibliography. A meticulously constructed, exquisitely illustrated facsimile of one of the world's most treasured Hebrew manuscripts. Text in Hebrew and English. Slipcase with light wear along edges, small chips, and light scuffing at bottom plane. Very good to fine. Item #45940