Auction 7 -
June 22rd 1999
Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art
The Property of Various Owners including:
The Late Bernard & Francis Lustig Collection of Judaica
The Property of H.E. Prince Nicolai Callimachi of Moldavia
A Large Collection of Hagadoth The Property of a Gentleman
Oil painting by Victor Markewitsch, 1914 sold for $4025
A mammoth sale and a mammoth success was how one illustrious
bidder described the most recent, highly anticipated auction of
Kestenbaum & Co which took place on June 22.
Over 250 people filled the auction room at the Doral Park Avenue Hotel
in New York City, and close to 100 phone and order bidders participated
in what was, to date, Kestenbaum & Companys largest and most
extensive sale. Every important figure in the close-knit segment
of the rare book market was involved as noted figures from private,
academic, museum and library collections around the world vied to
outbid each other for prestigious volumes new to the market. The
sale also boasted an impressive collection of ceremonial and graphic
The collection of items comprised the property of a number of owners
including the Late Bernard and Frances Lustig Collection of Hebrew
Books and Judaica with its 200 volumes of rare Hebrew printed books,
select North African manuscripts and wonderful assortment of Jewish
ceremonial objects. Also on offer was an extensive collection of
Hagadoth spanning four centuries of Hebrew printing, featuring the
first American Hagadah, published in New York, 1837, as well as
a number of other fascinating firsts.
Highlights of the sale included:
- A large cast bronze, eighteenth century Hannukah lamp which sold for $8000.
- A silver hanging Sabbath lamp from Venice 1800, which sold for $10,000
- A Hebrew prayer book, in fine Italian binding, ca 1770, from the collection
of HE Prince Nicolai Callimachi of Moldovia, estimated to sell
for $6000 - $9000 which sold for $27,000.
- A signed and titled painting of Saul Raskin Hassidic Song Without
Words which sold for $2000.
- A collection
of etchings an lithographs all signed and dated by the artist
Herman Struck sold for $850.
- A single volume of the exceedingly rare vellum issue of the Plantion Polyglot,
printed on personal commission of King Phillip II of Spain, which
sold for $27,000.
- The infamous papal bill of Clement VIII, 1593, beginning with the significant
phrase Caeca et Obdurata (Blind & Obdurate) sold for
- A first Bomberg edition of one volume of the Mishna, Venice, 1522, estimated
to sell for $1,200 - $1,800 sold for $4,250.
- A book of
Kabbalistic sermons to the Pentateuch , 1605, the first and to
date only Hebrew book printed in Damascus sold for $23,000.
- A rich, enthralling and historic archive relating to the first and subseqent
Zionist Congresses estimated to sell for $12,000 - $18,000 fetched