Illustrated Manuscript on Parchment – "Tikun Seder Se'udah" – Book of Blessings – Germany/ Austria, the 18th Century

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Tikun Seder Se'udah. [Germany/ Austria], the 18th century. Illustrated parchment manuscript, written with ink; original leather cover with silver clasp; original leather and cardboard case. This is a blessings book featuring miniature illustrations characteristic of the "Moravia School" of Germany or Austria, 18th century. The illustrator of this manuscript knew, as it seems, the books made by artists of the school: Aaron Wolf Schreiber Herlingen of Gewitsch, Meshulam Simmel of Polna, and others. The book does not include a colophon and the writer's or painter's name are not mentioned. These kind of books were usually made as gifts for brides from the upper class and they usually include special emphasis of the three Mitzvot: Chalah, Nida, and Seder Hadlaka, along with matching illustrations. The opening page of the manuscript is decorated with illustrated initial words and ten miniature illustrations the size of about one third of a page. The illustrations relate to the content of the text on the page. The manuscript is written over 31 parchment leaves, with additional two empty parchment leaves, on which some family documentation were added in eloquent Ashkenazi writing, the earliest dated 1761. Three flyleaves are attached, two at the beginning and one at the end of the manuscript. The number of rows in each page is not fixed. Square script with vowels. The Dinim and instructions appearing before the blessings are written in Yiddish-Daitsch (German in Hebrew letters), with "TZOR letter" (Tzeina U'rena letters). The blessings in the manuscript are: "Seder HaSeu'da" – opening [Yiddish] on the practice of hand-washing (and its importance), verses and songs recited during the feast: a collection of verses to be recited, starting with: "Lehodot Lehalel Leshabe'ach" [brought for the first time in the Amsterdam Mishnayot, 1646, and was published in the book "Kitzur Shnei Luchot Habrit", printed in 1722, where it was written that "these verses have the ability to prevent a person from lacking in food for all of his life"], song of the day [a practice mentioned in the "Kitzur Shnei Luchot Habrit"], Mizmor 'Lamenze'ach' [in the shape of a Menorah], songs and some more verses; "Seder Shel Birkat Hamazon", the blessing of the wine and the "Bracha Me'ein Shalosh"; "Seder Birkat Ha'Nehenin" - including the blessing of eyesight and of scent, a blessing for the healing from an illness, for Essek Ha'Refua [the business of healing] , a blessing for the beginning and end of the day; "Seder Chala"; "Seder Nida"; "Seder Hadlaka" (the lighting of the Shabat candles) and the Seder of "Kriat Shma in bed". The Descriptions of the Illustrations: Front page (leaf 1) - set in a common structure, with blue pillars on the backdrop of a gray gate. A pair of Putti is seated on top of the pillars, on both sides of the title. For the full inscriptions adorning the front page please see the Hebrew description. Leaf 2 – “Seder Ha’Seudah”. An illustration of a room with a wooden floor and two windows turned towards the landscape. In the center of the room there is a table with two dishes set on it, with four women sitting around it in colorful dresses and a man wearing a typical Jewish hat. Leaf 8 - Menorah of “La’menazeach” with no special illustrations. Leaf 8b – The Hebrew words “Dehayinu… Eli” are set within a decorated framework. Leaf 9 –”Seder Birkat Hamazon”. The opening word “Baruch” is enhanced and written within a decorative oblong-frame. Leaf 15 – “Bracha Me’ein Shalosh” - drawing of a dining room (identical to the one depicted in the second leaf), with a seated man and wife, and at their side standing a woman-servant. On the table are some pastries. Leaf 16b –”Boreh Issbei Bessamim” - drawing of a typical English garden. Leaf 17b – “Zocher Ha’Brit Ve’Ne’man Ha’Brit Ve’Kayam Be’Ma’amaro” - drawing of a lightning storm and mountain-scenery. Leaf 18 – “Meshaneh Ha’Briyot” - drawing of a couple dressed in typical Jewish garb, and by their side depicted as a giant compared with the couple, stands a dark-skinned Indian with a feathered crown around his head and a skirt to his waist. Leaf 18b – a drawing of a boat with a striped sail, in red and white, over rough waters. The drawing is situated above the blessing of “She’Asah Et Hayam Ha’Gadol” [He who made the big sea]. Leaf 19 – Blessing of health and healing - on this page we see a couple of women sitting and at their side doctors are standing. Leaf 22 – The practice of ritual bathing - A woman sitting within a wooden basin and a woman servant standing at her side holding a water-jug. Page 23 - in “Seder Hadlaka” the mistress of the house is depicted seated, holding a Siddur. At her side a table covered by a yellow tablecloth. A woman servant is holding a candle and lighting the “Judenstern”, which is hanging from the ceiling. Leaf 24 – “Seder of reading Shma in bed” – drawing depicting a woman in a red dress, sitting on a bed and holding an open Siddur. The manuscript is set within an original leather binding with impressed golden decorations and an original silver buckle, with a floral pattern. On the front protective pages there is an ink stamp of the Rabbi Dr. Arthur Zacharias Schwarz of Vienna. The Rabbi Dr. Arthur Zacharias Schwarz (1880-1939), son of Rabbi Arieh Adolf Schwarz (founder and director of the rabbinical seminary in Vienna for 40 years), scholar of manuscripts, was known for his many studies in the field of Jewish bibliography. The author of “The Catalog of Hebrew Manuscripts in Vienna” (Vienna, 1920) and other publications, publisher and editor of the “Drashat Ha’Ramban for Rosh Hashana (Waitzen, 1912), and the Drashat Ha’Ramban on Kohelet (Frankfurt am Main 1913). Father of Tamar Kollek (wife of Teddy Kollek). For more information about the illustrated Seder Birkat Ha’Mazon and the artists of the Moravia School please see the bibliographic reference in the Hebrew description above. [33] parchment leaves, volume of 10 cm. good condition. Few stains. Some slight faults on the cover (a tear on the area of the spine) and slight damage caused to the silver buckle and the cardboard-case. Provenance: 1. Collection of the Rabbi Dr. Arthur Zacharias Schwarz, Vienna - Jerusalem. 2. Collection of Teddy and Tamar Kollek, Jerusalem.
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