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Lot 36

Passover Haggadah – Illuminated Manuscript on Vellum – After the Darmstadt Haggadah

Passover Haggadah, illuminated manuscript with gold leaf, after the Darmstadt Haggadah (made by the scribe Israel Ben Meir of Heidelberg, ca. 1430). [Unknown location, 20th century?].
Vellum; black and red ink; watercolors; gold leaf.
This manuscript is an almost precise copy of the Darmstadt Haggadah, with its elegant Ashkenazic characters, illumination, magnificent initials and miniatures. However, the original marginal commentary (and a single case of commentary appearing in the center of the leaf) was not copied in this manuscript, and passages originally written in semi-cursive Ashkenazic script were copied in a different script.
It is interesting to note the respectful depiction of women in the Darmstadt Haggadah illustrations. The women are depicted as sitting around the table in a place that is equal in its importance to that of the men and are reading books; thus, the person who ordered the Haggadah was presumably a woman and the painter wanted to honor her and emphasize her social and family status. The Haggadah ends with two secular illustrations – a hunting scene typical of the era and the Fountain of Youth.
[56] leaves, 35.5 cm. Good condition. Gold leaf peeling and missing in several places. Elegant leather binding. Abrasions to corners and edges of binding.