Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Megilat Esther (The Book of Esther) [HARRY GLEMBY'S COPY]

Paris: Piazza, 1926. First Hebrew-language edition. Hardcover. 1/500. Quarto. 64pp [2]. Housed in its original cardboard slipcase. Original beige paper wrappers with gilt-stamped lettering and motofs on the covers and spine. Elaborate gilt-stamped illustrated title page and frontispiece. Decorative initials.

Political activist Arthur Szyk interpreted the character in the biblical "Book of Esther," his first illustrated book, as one who was a witness to history and fighter for justice. The story recounts the efforts of Esther and her uncle Mordechai to save the Jews of ancient Persia from annihilation. During times of crisis, Jews have drawn strength from this text, which dramatizes the persecution of the Jews, extols their heroic resistance, and proclaims their eventual triumph over their enemies. This work also known in French as "Le Livre d'Esther", was first published in 1925 in Paris, during Szyk's second stay there (1921-1937), in both a bilingual French-Hebrew edition and this Hebrew only edition. Magnificently illustrated with 20 tissue-guarded illuminations (19 full-page plates, 1 chapter heading), Szyk's illustrations display his talent for decorative detail as well as his fascination with the "orientalist" trend in Jewish art. Szyk incorporated motifs drawn from archaeological discoveries in the Near East, such as winged bulls of Assyria and cuneiform writing. Printed on heavy card-stock paper. Text in Hebrew only.

One of a limited edition of 500 copies printed "for the United States", hand-numbered on the colophon at the back of the book, of which this is No. 310.

Slipcase with the top edge missing, as well as some minor smudges, stains and the name of thek previous owner in ink. Wrapper lightly sunned with chipping to the head and tail of the spine. Book block starting, at colophon. Dated name of a previous owner in ink on the rear free endpaper. The small gilt-stamped green leather bookplate Harry Glemby* pasted on at the bottom of the page opposite the title. Interior quite clean overall, with images vibrant. Binding in good, interior in very good+ condition overall. Slipcase and wrappers protected in modern mylar. g to vg+. Item #50603

Hebrew title: מגילת אסתר
Alternate transliteration: Megilat Ester

*Provenance:
This copy of the book was part of the library of New York businessman, book collector and art patron Harry Glemby (ca. 1887-1965). Glemby was a friend and patron of Szyk's work from his days in Paris, and was also known as a sucessful innovator and manufacturer of the hairnet in the United States. Later this copy was owned by promiment American Reform Rabbi Louis Israel Newman (1893-1972).

Price: $750.00

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