Auction 91 Part 2 "Shanah Tovah" Postcards and Greeting Cards from the Collection of Dr. Haim Grossman

Collection of Large Lithographic "Shana Tovah" Cards – Cards by Monsohn – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Warsaw and Elsewhere, First Half of the 20th Century

Opening: $800
Sold for: $2,000
Including buyer's premium

Some 40 large lithographic cards, many in color. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Warsaw and elsewhere, first half of the 20th century.
The cards depict the holy places; trees of life bearing new year's greetings; the binding of Isaac; the redemption of the land, symbolized by pioneers working the land with an angel in the foreground sheltering an older Jew under its wing while showing him in the direction of the promised land (after Lilien); Hebrew flags; the statue of liberty; ships, trains and industry; baskets overflowing with fruit, including the four species of Sukkot; the emblems of the tribes of Israel; and more. Including cards printed by the Monsohn press; one card, printed in Germany, depicting prominent persons by the name of Moses – Biblical Moses, Maimonides, Moses Mendelssohn, Moses Montefiore and Baron Hirsch, alongside the aphorism "from Moses until Moses, there was none like Moses"; "LeShanah Tovah Shiffskarte" cards; two cards by Rosa Freudenthal's studio.
Size and condition vary. Some cards inscribed by hand.
Provenance: The Dr. Haim Grossman collection.

Dr. Chaim Grossman's Israeliana collection is exceptional in size, quality and variety. Grossman, an educator, historian and folklorist, was a methodical, knowledgeable and meticulous collector, and his deep understanding of Palestinian-Yishuv and Israeli material culture set the ground for a one-of-a-kind collection of mundane and less than mundane objects – from the ephemeral, the negligible, the widely available to the rare and singular.
The "shana tovah" collection left by Grossman – a considerable part of which is offered in the present auction – comprises thousands of postcards, cards, letters and other paper items made and sent year after year in, by and for Jewish communities: in Eastern and Western Europe, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, North Africa, North and South America, as part of the tradition of sending hand-written, hand-drawn or printed new year’s greetings, which originated in German Jewry but with the rise of postcards spread to most communities. The earliest items in the collection date to the 1860s; the latest were made in the late 20th century. It includes both beautifully designed, rare, early and singular postcards and cards, and mass-made, highly popular items sold in large quantities, in varying production quality and in dozens of repeating versions, each according to the technical abilities achieved by the local publication industry.
The collector's devotion to his collection is evident in the sheer number of items, in the wealth of techniques, visuals and themes, and in the thorough, intersectional categorization by period, origin, motif, technique and material. Glitter and relief embossing, scraps, lace and golden ink, lithography and celluloid transparencies, plastic, textile and metal decorations; Yiddish, Hebrew, English, Russian, French, Polish, German greetings; children, angels, families, pets, immigrants, travelers, professionals; portraits and tinted reproductions; Judaism, Zionism, the state, the army; the ritual and the mundane; any new year's greeting, in any form whatsoever, had a place in Grossman's collection and was honored as a historical testimony, as a timeless, invaluable treasure.

"Shanah Tovah" Postcards and Greeting Cards from the Collection of Dr. Haim Grossman