Auction 61 - Rare and Important Items

April 24, 2018

Manuscript with Illustration, Engravings and a Papercut - The Priestly Breastplate and Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple) - Amsterdam, 1688 - Binyamin Senior Godines, Illustrator of the Title Page of Meah Berachot

Opening: $5,000
Sold for: $6,875
Including buyer's premium
Manuscript on topics related to Beit HaMikdash (the Temple), with an illustration by Binyamin Senior Godines. [Amsterdam], 1688. Spanish and Portuguese.
The manuscript contains two compositions, an illustration, engravings and a papercut. The title page bears the title "Choshen HaMishpat" and a splendid high-quality colorful gilt illustration of the priestly breastplate, signed "By Binyamin Senior, 1688".
The first composition (in Spanish) deals with the breastplate gems, their names, virtue and identity in our times. At the beginning of the composition, the author notes that the composition is arranged according to the book Shiltei Giborim (by the physician R. Avraham Portaleone, 1542-1612).
The second composition (in Portuguese) describes the edifice of the Temple and its services: dimensions, time of construction, amounts of gold and silver required for the various Temple vessels, amount of oil and wine required annually for the services, etc. This composition is also found in another manuscript which belonged to R. Isaac de Matatia Aboab, held in the Ets Haim Library in Amsterdam (Manuscript 48 E 26, third pagination, pp. 28/b-33/b).
Three engravings were bound between the two compositions: One, hand-colored engraving, with gilt adornments, depicts the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and its vessels, and the other two depict the Temple and its vessels. The engraving of the Mishkan is taken from the book Retrato Del Tabernaculo De Moseh and the other two engravings of the Temple and its vessels were taken from an edition of the book Retrato del templo de Selomo, both by R. Judah Leon Templo (1603-1675), a Dutch scholar from Amsterdam who extensively studied matters pertaining to the Temple and the Mishkan and built a model of the Temple which he exhibited throughout Europe. A unique papercut shaped like the ephod and choshen is glued on the blank leaf following the engravings.
Binyamin Senior Godines was a renowned artist, scribe and engraver, member of the Portuguese community in Amsterdam. He copied compositions for R. Isaac de Matatia Aboab of Amsterdam (1631-1707) and published the book Meah Berachot (also called Seder Berachot, Orden de Benediciones, Amsterdam 1687-1688) with his own engraving on the title page (signed: B.G.). In the introduction to the book Me'ah Berachot, Godines writes that he prepared the book for print and that it is based on a manuscript found in the library of R. Isaac de Matatia Aboab, while in fact, he himself wrote the manuscript at the behest of R. Isaac de Matatia Aboab (this manuscript is held today in the Ets Haim Library in Amsterdam, no. 47 E 33). Three drawings created by Godlines are held today in the Jewish Museum London which were made "at the behest of Isaac de Matatia Aboab". Several other manuscripts written and illustrated by Godlines are held in the Ets Haim Library in Amsterdam including a kabbalistic illustration of an Ilan Sefirot (end of manuscript no. 48 A 16).
[1] wrapper, [7] leaves + [3] engravings. Good condition. Few stains and creases.