Auction 63 - Rare and Important Items

Megillat Eichah (Book of Lamentations) – Illuminated Manuscript on Parchment – Shlomo Yedidya Seelenfreund

Opening: $4,000
Estimate: $5,000 - $8,000
Sold for: $5,250
Including buyer's premium
The Book of Lamentations, an illuminated manuscript on parchment. Written and illustrated by Shlomo Yedidya Seelenfreund. Jerusalem, [1940s-50s].
The title page bears a medallion with the word "Eichah" and an illustration of the city of Jerusalem burning, in black and red; under it: "Shlomo Yedidya Seelenfreund, Jerusalem". On each of the following pages, the text appears within a decorative frame. The illustrations and titles of the frames reflect the text.
Shlomo Yedidya (Salamon Seelenfreund) was born in 1875 to Elazar Ze'ev Lajos HaKohen Seelenfreund and to Léni, née Weiszburg, in Szentes, Hungary. Two years later his father was appointed dayan by the Szeged community and the family moved there. At the age of 16, he left Szeged and moved to Budapest to start his education as an artist. He studied in the school of arts and worked in printing presses and in various graphic design workshops. Later on, Shlomo Yedidya left Hungary and stayed in Rome, Paris and Germany, studying in various art workshops. When he returned to Hungary, he established a workshop and got married (ca. 1898) to Shoshana, also née Weiszburg. Through publicity in art periodicals, he became known as an artist and a teacher of the arts. He was invited to design and decorate the new Neological synagogue in Szeged, inaugurated in 1903. He held solo exhibitions and took part in group exhibitions in Szeged (1910) and in Budapest. Moved to Eretz Israel in 1921 with his family, settled in Jerusalem and started a workshop which was open to visitors on Saturday. Later, the family joined the small moshav Beit Talma in Emek HaArazim (close to Motza, near Jerusalem), where they built a house and grew some field and garden plants.
During the 1929 riots, on Saturday, August 24, the house and its contents were burnt - including plans, works of art and equipment - and whatever remained was stolen. The family was evacuated from the house on time and was saved. In 1940, after wandering between apartments in Tel Aviv, Shlomo Yedidya and his son, Yehuda, settled in Givatayim. In 1947, Shlomo and his wife Shoshana moved to the Yavneh retirement home in Tel Aviv. When the War of Independence broke out and the Egyptians bombed Tel Aviv, their room was hit while they were away and many of Yedidya's works were destroyed. Shoshana Yedidya passed away in 1958. Three years later (1961) Shlomo Yedidya passed away. (The biography of Shlomo Yedidya is based on an essay by Timna Rubinger, published by the Memorial Museum of the Hungarian Speaking Jewry in Safed. The essay includes a lot more information about Yedidya).
[6] leaves. 14 cm. Original leather binding, somewhat worn, with a decorated metal clasp. Good condition. Leaves partly detached. A single worming hole to inner binding, front endpaper and title page.
Parchment Manuscripts – Illustrated Manuscripts, Megillot and Single Leaves
Parchment Manuscripts – Illustrated Manuscripts, Megillot and Single Leaves