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

Nachalat Avot by Rabbi Yitzchak Abarbanel – Constantinople, 1505 – First Edition, Printed in His Lifetime

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Nachalat Avot by Rabbi Yitzchak Abarbanel – Constantinople, 1505 – First Edition, Printed in His Lifetime
Nachalat Avot, commentary to Pirkei Avot (with the text of Pirkei Avot), by R. Yitzchak Abarbanel. [Constantinople: David and Samuel ibn Nahmias and Isaac Kaspota, 1505]. First edition.
Printed without title page. The recto of leaf 1 is blank, and the verso features poems in praise of the book, set in a decorative woodcut border with animal and vegetal motifs (in this copy, this leaf was bound back to front, and the woodcut border appears on recto).
The books Rosh Amana and Zevach Pesach by R. Yitzchak Abarbanel were originally printed together with this book. The books were bound together, and share a single colophon. This volume comprises Nachalat Avot only.
R. Yitzchak Abarbanel (1437-1508), prominent Torah scholar and renowned statesman, foremost leader of Spanish Jewry in the time of the expulsion. He is renowned for his commentary to Torah and Neviim. Following the Spanish expulsion, he settled in Naples, Italy, where he completed the present composition, in 1496.
On the final leaf of this book, he concludes his work with the following words: "And this commentary was completed in Monopoli, in the Apulia region… where we settled following the fearful expulsion of Spanish Jewry, and this kingdom, which at first received us pleasantly, turned into an enemy… 1496". This first edition was printed in his lifetime, while he was in Venice, where he spent his final years.
Signatures on the first leaf: "Yosef son of Reuven", "Nissim son of R. –" (partly damaged).
Without Rosh Amana and Zevach Pesach, and without shared colophon leaf. [109] leaves (originally: 58 two-leaf gatherings, altogether [116] leaves). Lacking 7 leaves (leaf 2 of gathering 35, leaf 1 of gathering 45, leaf 2 of gathering 48, leaf 1 of gathering 51, leaf 2 of gathering 53, leaf 1 of gathering 54 and final leaf of gathering 58 – colophon leaf for all three compositions). First leaf with woodcut border bound back to front. 23 cm. Overall good condition. Stains. Open tears and significant worming to some leaves, affecting text (partially repaired with paper and tape). Margins trimmed, affecting headings of several leaves. New leather binding.
One of the first Hebrew books printed in Constantinople. No. 3 in the list of Avraham Yaari, HaDfus HaIvri BeKushta, Jerusalem 1967.

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