Auction 75 Rare and Important Items
Nov 24, 2020
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 10:

Midrash Chamesh Megillot – Pesaro, 1519 – Printed by Gershom Soncino – Interesting Handwritten Glosses

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Sold for: $6,500
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$ 5,000
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Midrash Chamesh Megillot – Pesaro, 1519 – Printed by Gershom Soncino – Interesting Handwritten Glosses
Midrash Chamesh Megillot – including: Shir HaShirim Rabbati, Midrash Ruth, Midrash Megillat Esther ("Achashverosh"), Eichah Rabbati and Midrash Kohelet. [Pesaro]: [Gershom] Soncino, [1519].
Title page and first page within woodcut border. Ornamental woodcut initial words at the beginning of each composition (apart from Midrash Eichah).
The title page only states "Midrash Chamesh Megillot", without imprint.
Colophon on final leaf, with year of printing and name of printer: "Printed in Italy by the Jewish printer Soncino… 1519…". This leaf also features closing remarks and a poem (in this copy, the leaf is torn and lacking, with loss of text).
Many inscriptions on the title page, including ownership inscriptions: "Gershon of Padua" and "Mine, Avraham Aharon Ashkenazi" (the leaf following the title page also contains his signature).
The book contains glosses, including lengthy ones, in Italian script, by an unidentified writer.
In a particularly long gloss on p. [97b], the writer addresses the Midrash of the Three Oaths, which forbids Jews to rebel against the nations and forcibly reclaim the land. He writes that it is incumbent upon the Jews to relate to the non-Jews amongst whom they live with respect, and act towards them with prudence, so that they shouldn't hate them or harm them. He concludes with hope for the coming of Mashiach and the Redemption, which will occur in the merit of sanctifying G-d's name amongst the nations.
[100] leaves. 28 cm. Overall good condition. Several leaves in fair condition. Stains, including dark stains to several leaves. Tears (including open tears) to title page and following leaf, repaired with paper. Tears to several other leaves, repaired with paper. Large open tear to final leaf (with loss of almost half the leaf), repaired with paper. Worming to a few leaves. Stamp. Leather binding, damaged and partially detached.
The Soncino family were prominent printers in the 15th and 16th century, and particularly in the incunabula period. They established their first printing press in Soncino, Italy, in ca. 1483, and later wandered through various Italian cities with their printing equipment, resuming their printing operations wherever they settled. One of the prominent members of this family was Gershom Soncino, printer of the present edition.

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