Auction 78 Rare and Important Items
May 25, 2021
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
The preview and the auction will be held at our offices in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Health, 8 Ramban St. Jerusalem
The auction has ended

LOT 5:

Tehillim – Safed, 1833 – The First Book of Tehillim Printed in Eretz Israel – Fine Copy, With Decorated Leather ...

Sold for: $10,000
Start price:
$ 5,000
Estimated price:
Auction house commission: 25%
VAT: 17% On commission only
Users from foreign countries may be exempted from tax payments, according to the relevant tax regulations

Tehillim – Safed, 1833 – The First Book of Tehillim Printed in Eretz Israel – Fine Copy, With Decorated Leather Binding – Handwritten Leaf Describing the Demand for This Edition in Florence, 1837
Tehillim, with the Be'urei Zohar and Metzudat Tzion commentaries. Safed: R. Yisrael Bak, [1833].
Fine copy, in a gilt-decorated leather binding. The initials of the owner, "Y.Ch.V." are lettered on the front and back boards.
One of the first books printed by R. Yisrael Bak in Safed, about one year after he established his printing press in the city. First Tehillim printed in Eretz Israel.
A foreword by the printer R. Yisrael Bak is printed on the verso of the title page: "And all who purchase and spend their gold and silver on books printed here in the Holy Land, especially books of Tehillim with the Zohar to carry in his bosom and in his bag, G-d should save him from all distress, harm and fright…". This is followed by another long foreword by the publisher, R. Gershon Margolies. He tells how he begged R. Yisrael Bak not to print the Be'urei HaZohar kabbalistic commentary alone, rather alongside the verses of Tehillim and reports that his request was ultimately fulfilled in the present edition.
Kavanat HaMeshorer (the intent of the poet) is printed at the beginning of each Psalm. The volume also contains prayers recited before and after reading Tehillim on weekdays, Shabbat, Yom Tov and Hoshana Raba night, and a prayer for the sick and Seder Pidyon Nefesh.
A handwritten leaf is enclosed in this copy, describing R. Eliyahu Cafsuto's great desire to acquire a Tehillim from this edition in Florence, several years after the printing:
"Florence, 2nd Iyar 1837, behold I am 65 years old and I have not yet merited to acquire a book of Tehillim printed in Safed, until my dear, honored acquaintance R. Eliezer Cuomo(?) of Bologna(?), a bookseller, came and I asked him if he has a book of Tehillim from a fine, high-quality printing. He gave me one, and I was extremely happy to see it, and asked him to name his reward. He didn't want anything, saying that it should be a souvenir of our friendship, and begging me to accept the gift… I, Eliyahu son of Moshe David Eliezer Cafsuto…".
This inscription was documented by Prof. Meir Benayahu in his article The Printing Press of R. Yisrael Bak in Safed (Areshet IV, 1966, p. 279). Benayahu writes that it "shows the prominence of this edition in the eyes of the public".
Fine copy. [4], 152 leaves. 14.5 cm. Light-colored, high-quality paper. Good condition. Some stains. Margins trimmed, with slight damage to headings in several places. Fine, original, gilt-decorated leather binding. Title and owner's initials gilt lettered. Worming and damage to binding (including holes from removal of clasps).