Auction 42 - Rare and Important Items

Babylonian Talmud – Tractate Moed Katan – Printed by Gershom Soncino – Pesaro, 1515

Opening: $3,500
Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Moed Katan. [Pesaro (Italy), 1515]. Printed by Gershom ben Moshe Soncino.
Incomplete copy. Several glosses in Oriental writing.
The following leaves exist: Folio A: Leaves 2-6 (title page missing), folio B: 1-5 (leaf 6 missing), folio D: 6 leaves, folio F: 2-7 (end). Missing: Folios C and E. Total of 22 leaves.
32 cm. Fair condition. Spotting; tears, with damage to text in several places. Professionally restored tears and damages on leaf edges. New binding.
The Soncino family is known as one of the founders of the Hebrew print in Italy, deriving its name from the town of Soncino in Northern Italy where the family settled and established a printing house. Members of the Soncino family were the first to begin printing the Babylonian Talmud (simultaneously, several tractates were printed in Spain). The first tractate, Berachot, was printed in 1484. Due to the difficulties and troubles that befell them, they were forced to leave their city and traversed various cities throughout Italy. Wherever they dwelled, they continued their work and printed important Hebrew books. One of their stops was in the city of Pesaro in Northeast Italy where Gershom ben Moshe Soncino resided for several years and printed a few tractates of the Talmud. This printing, today called the Pesaro print, was a cornerstone in the history of the printing of the Babylonian Talmud. Daniel Bomberg, the renowned Venetian printer, used the tractates printed in Pesaro as the basis for his famous edition of the Talmud. This edition was the first to incorporate the Tosfot as an integral part of the Talmud Daf (Leaf) next to Rashi’s commentary (as opposed to the Spanish printings which printed only Rashi’s commentary beside the text of the Talmud). In addition, this edition determined for generations the type of Tosfot attached to each tractate (usually, Tosfot Rabbi Eliezer of Touques). On the other hand, the “tzurat hadaf” (The layout of the Talmud page) and pagination of this printing differs from the format used today. Today’s “tzurat hadaf” was set in the Bomberg edition which was printed later. Gershom Soncino began to print in Pesaro in 1509, and printed a total of 23 tractates but did not complete the printing of the whole Talmud.
Rare and Important Items
Rare and Important Items