Auction 93 Part 1 - Manuscripts, Prints and Engravings, Objects and Facsimiles, from the Gross Family Collection, and Private Collections

Large Ottoman Leaf, Decorated and Colored by Hand – Sketch of Three Houses of Worship in Istanbul – Sketch of the Hemdat Israel Synagogue

Opening: $3,000
Sold for: $11,250
Including buyer's premium

Leaf from an Ottoman manuscript, depicting three architectural masterpieces in Istanbul: the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Hemdat Israel Synagogue and the Hagia Sophia Byzantine Church. [Istanbul?, ca. early 20th century].
The leaf features impressive sketches, accompanied by Arabic numerals and calligraphic headings (Turkish in Arabic characters), depicting three historical houses of prayer in Istanbul: The Hagia Sophia Byzantine church (built in the 6th century), The Süleymaniye Mosque (built in the 16th century) and the Hemdat Israel Synagogue (built in 1899).
Each building is shown in elevation, with a ground plan, calculations of the center of gravity, and enlarged illustrations of ornamental details. A seven–branched Menorah is depicted beside the synagogue. Decorative border with an Ottoman stamp, a calligraphic inscription in red ink (signature?) and several small inscriptions.
The Hemdat Israel synagogue opened for prayers on Rosh Hashanah 1899, after repeated attempts of Greek and Armenian residents to prevent its establishment. When the rumor of these attempts reached the Turkish Sultan, Abdul Hamid II, he sent a guard to ensure the building could be completed and left it to protect the worshippers after the opening of the synagogue. As a token of gratitude, the synagogue was named "Hemdat Israel" (Hemdat being reminiscent of the Sultan's name Hamid).
Handwritten text on verso in black and red ink (four text columns), with sidenotes.

[1] leaf (two conjoined sheets), approx. 68X42 cm. Good condition. Stains. Folding marks and creases. Minor tears, repaired with tape.

• Juifs d'Orient, by Benjamin Stora. Paris, 2021. p. 161.
Provenance: The Gross Family Collection, Tel Aviv, 118.011.088.

Calendars, Braodsides and Posters – Graphics and Prints