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

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LOT 41:

Sefer HaTashbetz, Amsterdam 1738. First Edition. With Original Hand-Painted Parchment Binding.

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Sefer HaTashbetz, Amsterdam 1738. First Edition. With Original Hand-Painted Parchment Binding.

A complete copy of Sefer HaTashbetz, authored by R. Shimon Duran - R. Shimon Bar Tzemach (known as the Tashbatz or Rashbatz). Although a Rishon (1361-1444), it wasn’t until the mid 18th century until his responsa was brought to print by R. Meir Crescas of Amsterdam, who obtained the manuscript from one of his descendants. This work is considered a primary Halachik work and is quoted by many leading Torah authorities, R. Yosef Karo (Beit Yosef) among them. 

This book is perhaps most famous for its unique hand-painted vellum binding, often referred to as a “fish skin” binding due to its striking appearance. Bindings such as this were quite common in 18th century Amsterdam, where artisans were specially trained to create aesthetically pleasing bindings on vellum. 

The bindings were created in many different styles and colors, each one differing from the next. This copy is perhaps the most splendid and vibrant of all, featuring a mix of bright colors, such as violet, orange, yellow and reddish tones. The center panel is adorned with a beautiful motif design with shades of green. 

Remarkably, virtually all copies of Sefer Tashbetz survived intact with their original splendid binding, a rare and unusual phenomenon amongst Hebrew books. Some attribute this to a legend told about the author, who was extra careful with regard to Holy printed books. It is said that even in his old age, he would carefully dust Seforim with his long beard, in an effort to beautify and preserve them. Thus he merited that his work - printed over three centuries later - remained preserved in a remarkable shape until today. 

In very good condition. 4 parts in 1 volume. Bound in original hand-painted vellum binding with an artistic mix of oranges, purples, reds, yellows and some greens. Many variants of this work exist, each with a different set of title pages. Some include 3, some 5, and sometimes even 9 title pages. This copy is complete with 7 different title pages. 

2 [10], 91; 1, 69; 1, 68 [1]; 1, 83, 1, 85-101 [1] pp. 

Vinograd, Amsterdam 1490.
Stefansky Hebrew Classics 270. 



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