Christie's presents an exceptional Hebrew manuscript
A Renaissance jewish prayer book by Boccardino will be the highlight of the 11th of May Books and Manuscripts sale in Paris
With more than 400 pages the illuminated manuscript on vellum is the only example of a Mahzor made by Guliano Boccardi. Made in Tuscany, probably in Florence, around 1490 it is in the market for the first time. The lot has an estimate of 400.000-600.000 euros, but is expected to fetch much more, specially if it succeds in arousing the interest of the American public, particularly the New York Jewish colony,where it will be unveiled to the public for the first time the 16th of April.
Acquired in Frankfurt before 1908 it subsequently fell into the hands of Edmond Bicart-Sée. Never before has it been exhibited to the public, having been carefully preserved far from the public eye by his descendants in Paris for over eighty years.
The Mahzor contains prayers for the entire liturgical years. Richly decorated in gold with Rennaisance motifs, it includes practices and rituals of the Jewish community such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkoth.
The striking cover presents all the characteristics of the Boccardino aesthetics- the last representant of the Golden age of Florentine illuminations. The Florentine Jewish community flourished in the XVth century by the hand of the Medici family. Of special interest is the code of arms on the cover but its simmiliraity with others, makes its identification difficut. The two lions flanking a palm tree are a synthesis of the Tuscan families tedesco and Uzielli.Alfonso Carbajo Agrasar