Auction 75 Rare and Important Items
Nov 24, 2020
Israel
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 7:

Even Bochan – Naples, 1489 – Incunabulum – Incomplete Copy

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Even Bochan – Naples, 1489 – Incunabulum – Incomplete Copy
Even Bochan, ethics, by R. Kalonymus son of Kalonymus (Rabbenu Kalonymus HaZaken). [Naples: Joseph son of Jacob Ashkenazi, end of Elul 1489]. First edition. Incunabulum.
Incomplete copy.
The printer, Joseph son of Jacob Ashkenazi Gunzenhauser (from Gunzenhausen, Bavaria), was a pioneer in Hebrew printing, active in Italy in the early years of printing. Joseph Ashkenazi worked alongside the Soncino family, who set up presses in that time in various Italian cities. He established his printing press in Naples, ca. 1487, and passed away in 1490. That year, the printing press of the Soncino family began its operation in Naples (run by Yehoshua Shlomo Soncino). Joseph Ashkenazi's son, Azriel, continued operating the printing press for another two years, until 1492 (the year of the Spanish expulsion) – when both Ashkenazi's and Soncino's printing presses were closed. Joseph Ashkenazi's press produced all of 15 Hebrew titles. The editor and proofreader of this book was R. Yom Tov son of Peretz (Bonfoi) Zarfati.
There is a printing error in this edition – leaves [32-33] were printed in the wrong order (the correct order is 33b, 32b, 33a, 32a). This error was later rectified, and the remaining copies were printed in the correct order. The corrected leaves were printed in a different typography, several printing errors were emended, and stretched Heh and Resh letters were used (see: Shimon Iakerson, Catalogue of Hebrew Incunabula from the Collection of the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, vol. I, New York-Jerusalem 2004, pp. 236-241). This copy contains the uncorrected leaves.
Incomplete copy: [21] leaves (originally: [50] leaves. Lacking 29 leaves). Leaves present: [15-19], [22-27], [29-36], [39], [42] (leaves 3-7 of gathering 3, leaves 2-7 of gathering 4, gathering 5 complete [8 leaves], leaves 3 and 6 of gathering 6). 18.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Most leaves complete. Marginal open tears to several leaves, not affecting text. Open tear to final leaf, affecting text. Several other tears. Most tears repaired with paper. New binding (with leather spine).

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