Auction 86 - Part I - Rare & Important Items

Me'am Loez – Two Parts – Salonika, 1865-1866 – Including Bamidbar Volume, Not Listed in Bibliography of Hebrew Book

Opening: $1,500
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Me'am Loez, anthology of commentaries and midrashim on the Torah in Ladino, by R. Yaakov Culi. Part II of the Book of Shemot, and the Book of Bamidbar. Salonika: Saadi HaLevi, [1865-1866]. Two volumes, from an edition presumably printed in six or seven volumes, with the Book of Shemot divided into two volumes.
This Me'am Loez edition, printed in Salonika in 1863-1866, is particularly rare. The Bamidbar and Devarim volumes of this edition are not listed at all in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book. Even in the detailed lists of Moshe David Gaon in his book Maskiot Levav (Jerusalem, 1933), the Bamidbar volume is listed only partially (list of print workers from colophon on final page – leaf 161 in the present copy), without year of printing, name of publisher and foliation.
Vol. I (Shemot part II): [1], 245 leaves. 34 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and dampstains. Marginal wear and tears to some leaves, not affecting text. Original binding, worn, with leather spine.
Vol. II (Bamidbar): 1-158 leaves (lacking leaves 159-160), leaf 161. 31 cm. Fair condition. Stains and traces of past dampness. Tears and wear. Open tears to title page and approx. eight leaves at beginning and end of volume, affecting text, repaired with paper. New cloth binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman. Penciled inscriptions on the endpapers handwritten by Dr. Mehlman, who writes in both volumes: "Very rare edition". In the Bamidbar volume, he added: "An incomplete copy was listed inaccurately in Maskiot Levav, p. 39".