Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 3 - November 25th 1997

Fine Hebrew Printed Books
Duplicates From The Library of The
Jewish Theological Seminary Of America

The season opened with the rare honor of handling the deaccession of duplicates from the Rare Book Room of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. The auction represented only the second time in its 100 year history that the Seminary has deaccessioned duplicates from its Library, known worldwide to be the most important repository of Hebraica and Judaica today. Respected members from private, academic, museum and library collections from around the world vied to outbid each other for the prestigious volumes new to the market. Anchored by the Seminary collection, 90% of the 337 lots in this auction found buyers.

Highlights included:

  • The Mishnah, with commentary by Moses Maimonides, Naples, 1489 which sold for $25,300.
  • Moses of Coucy's Great Book of Precepts — the first book printed by Gershom Soncino in the town of Soncino, 1488, fetched $27,600.
  • An extremely rare 16th century Hebrew Psalter, Mantua, 1571, brought $17,250.
  • An exceptionally rare first edition of Joseph ben Gorion’s Yossipon with Yiddish translation, full of finely wrought woodcut illustrations, said to be the most beautiful printed work in Old-Yiddish literature (Zurich 1546) sold for $8,625.

Yossipon, Zurich, 1546, sold on November 25, 1997 for $8,625
Yossipon, Zurich, 1546, one of the Duplicates from the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America,
sold on November 25, 1997 for $8,625