Auction 92 Part 1 Rare and Important Items

Manuscript, Songs Following the Roman Rite – Rome, 1825 – Decorated Title Page

Opening: $1,000
Estimate: $2,000 - $2,500
Sold for: $3,750
Including buyer's premium

Manuscript, songs for Simchat Torah, weddings and Brit Milah. [Rome], 1825.
Pocket format. Italian square and semi-cursive script, mostly vocalized (apart from headings and instructions). Decorated title page, in black and orange.
The manuscript comprises piyyutim and songs for Simchat Torah, weddings and Brit Milah, some of which were printed in Italian siddurim. The piyyutim for the Hakafot of Simchat Torah on leaves [4-10] follow the Roman rite (see: R. Y.N. Pavoncello, Minhagim VeShirim Meyuchadim L'Kehillat Romi, Yeda Am, XII, 31-32 [1964]; M.E. Artom, Machazor di Rito Italiano, vol. II, Jerusalem 2005, pp. 914-925).
The order of blessings and prayers for a Brit Milah were included with the Brit Milah piyyutim. The present manuscript includes several short songs which to the best of our knowledge were never published (most of the piyyutim also appear in the 18th century Montserrat manuscript, Montserrat Monastery Library Ms. Or. 61, and some appear there with variations to text and order).
On leaves [21-23], blessing for the Pope, "recited also on Mincha of the first day of Shemini Atzeret".
The decorated title page states: "Songs customarily sung on Simchat Torah, at weddings and Brit Milah, commissioned by Mordechai R. Pontecorvo in 1825". Owner's initials lettered in gilt on the front and back boards: "A. R. P." – presumably Angelo [=Mordechai] R. Pontecorvo. The letter R. may stand for Refael. There is a ketubah for a groom named Mordechai Refael Pontecorvo, from Rome 1832, eight years after this manuscript was produced (see: JTS Library Ms. KET 29). The Pontecorvo family was an established Jewish family in Rome (see for instance: I. Joel, Italian Marriage-Contracts in the Library, Kiryat Sefer, XXII, 1945-1946, pp. 266-304).

[81] leaves. 9 cm. Good condition. Thick paper. Stains. Tears to title page ornaments, due to ink erosion. Inscription on final leaf. Original gilt-decorated binding.

Italian Jewry – Manuscripts and Printed Items