Auction 134 Special Sale no Incunables, Chassidut, Belongings of Tzaddikim, Amulets, Segula Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical letters, Chabad and Rare books
By Winner'S
Feb 1, 2022
3 Shatner Center 1st Floor Givat Shaul Jerusalem, Israel

The auction has ended

LOT 31:

Kehunat Avraham. Spectacular Illustrations. Complete Copy in Museum Display Condition. Pedigree Copy

Sold for: $3,000
Start price:
$ 2,800
Estimated price :
$3,500 - $4,000
Buyer's Premium: 24%
VAT: 17% On commission only
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tags: Books

Kehunat Avraham. Spectacular Illustrations. Complete Copy in Museum Display Condition. Pedigree Copy


Kehunat Avraham - unique commentary in rhyme on Psalms and Perek Shirah by Chacham Rabbi Avraham HaKohen Mazanta. Eight illustrated title pages, including the author's portrait. Venice, Bragadin Press, 1719-1726. Complete copy in museum-display condition. All the rare leaves lacking in most copies are present. Rare, sought-after collector's item.


The gaon Rabbi Matityahu Strashun's rare owner's signature appears on the protective leaf. He was a son of the renowned Talmudic commentator Rabbi Shmuel Strashun - the Rasha"sh, and a disciple of Rabbi Itzeleh of Volozhin and the G-dly Kabbalist Rabbi Menashe Mailiyah (a disciple of the Gr"a). He has the privilege few rabbinic leaders have had - his glosses on the Talmud are printed in Talmudic volumes from the Vilna edition onward.


This unique composition includes a commentary on Psalms and on Perek Shirah in the form of rhymes. Each and every verse appears in a stanza composed of lines of 4, 6, and 8 lines. The work is divided into six books - five parts on each of the five books of Tehillim, and the sixth part is on Perek Shirah. Each part has a dedicated illustrated title page. The book was printed in the highest quality on very fine paper, and its printing took over seven years! The printing began in 1719 and concluded in 1726.


At the beginning of the book, there are two spectacular main title pages. The first is entirely illustrated, with the figure of King David with a harp in his hands. At center is the "tree of knowledge." It is surrounded by forms of angels blowing hard, and the inscription "Not to be moved from its place." There are other symbols of protection (a star of David, the hands of Kohanim during their blessing, "Avraham's good stone" and more). The second title page bears an elegant portrait - the image of the author, Rabbi Avraham HaRofeh. These two title pages are very rare and lacking in many copies.


In is interesting to note that the approbations by Venice rabbis on the book discuss it using the title "Birkat Avraham" - yet the name of the book is Kehunat Avraham, as is explicitly printed on the title page and at the top of each of its parts, and this is also how it is referred to by the author everywhere.


Refer to the Hebrew catalog text for a brief biography of the gaon Rabbi Matityahu Strashun.


This book is, as mentioned, fully complete (it is rare to find it so complete) and it is very sought-after by book collectors and aficionados. It did indeed belong to one of the most prominent Hebrew book lovers, who desired it and acquired it.


[2], 8, 49; 40, 30; 26; 64 leaf. 20.5 cm. High-quality paper. Signature of the gaon Rabbi Matityahu and stamps from the Strashun Library. Antique owner's notations.

Very fine condition. Antique restoration to the margins of the first title page, with completions of the few words that were blemished. Most of the leaves are beautiful and clean. Gilt page edges. Magnificent new leather binding, with gilt imprint.