Auction 3 1st Anniversary Auction - Important Hebrew Books | Manuscripts
By Royal Auction House
Jan 17, 2022
1555 Route 37, Toms River, NJ 08755, United States

The auction has ended

LOT 40:

Rare: Siddur Tefillah - Form of Prayers, London 1770. The First Ever Hebrew Siddur Printed with English Translation.

Sold for: $8,500
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$ 8,000
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$10,000 - $12,000
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tags: Books

Rare: Siddur Tefillah - Form of Prayers, London 1770. The First Ever Hebrew Siddur Printed with English Translation.

A complete copy of the Siddur for use throughout the year, with an accurate English translation, printed in London in 1770. The first-ever prayer book to be translated into English, alongside the original Hebrew text. 

This edition was translated by Alexander Alexander, a pioneer of the Hebrew press in London. He produced this liturgy according to the Ashkenazic rite in partnership with Benedict Meyers of Halberstadt. The first English translation of the daily prayer-book, it was printed on a subscription basis and interestingly, the list of subscribers included many non-Jews. The translators Alexander and Meyers took note in their preface, that despite the cultural and religious significance of the Hebrew language, “being imperfectly understood by many, by some not at all, it has become necessary to translate our prayers into the language of the country wherein it has pleased Divine Providence to appoint our lot”. 

It is worth noting that although this prayer book was translated into English, the original Hebrew text and the order of Prayer remains untouched and is true to tradition as it has been for centuries. Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith (or “the Thirteen Creeds” as titled here), which have been a standard text of the Siddur for generations, are included in this edition as well, highly evident of the meticulous and careful printing of the Hebrew text as well as the English. 

On pp. 120 we find a heartfelt prayer on behalf of the Royal Family of England, with a special mention of King George III and Queen Charlotte. 

A complete copy of this edition is of utmost scarcity and exceptionally rare. This copy is complete in its entirety; includes the list of subscribers, as well as the Haftorahs section, which is lacking in many copies. 

Two title pages, with the English title opposite the Hebrew. 

In good condition with light foxing to some leaves; bound in original binding, spine rebacked in contemporary calf with gilt, corners chipped and rubbed.

[1], 214, [8] pp. 

Vinograd, London 60.