Parchment Manuscript – Ashkenazi Rite Siddur – Colorful Illustrations and Decorations – Germany, 13th/14th Century

Opening: $25,000
Estimate: $50,000 - $80,000
Sold for: $106,250
Including buyer's premium

Parchment manuscript, siddur following the Ashkenazi rite. [Germany, ca. 13th/14th century].
Ink on thin parchment. Neat Ashkenazic script (square and semi-cursive, mostly vocalized; size of letters varies). 15 lines per page. Enlarged initial words. Three ornamental initial word panels in color: the initial word of the Hoshanot is set in a floral and foliate frame incorporating a mythological animal, on red and yellow background; the initial word of the Ashrei HaAm piyyut is enclosed in a rectangular border with a yellow and red background, with a lion alongside it (loss to illustration due to a tear); the initial word of Ha Lachma Anya is set in a round frame depicting a hunting scene (dogs chasing each other in a circle), surrounded by a rectangular frame with four mythological beasts and a rose. A rose also appears at the beginning of the Shoshanat Yaakov piyyut. Other ornaments in ink in several places. The script and illustrations are typical of Ashkenazi manuscripts of the 13th and 14th century (see for instance: Bodleian Library MS. Michael 627, and the Luzzatto Machzor – Sotheby's, October 2021).
The text of the machzor belongs to the branch of the Western Ashkenazi rite (regarding this rite, see: D. Goldschmidt, Machzor LeYamim Nora'im, introduction, p. 14).
The manuscript comprises (occasionally incomplete): Arvit for weekdays and Shabbat, Shacharit for Shabbat, order of Torah reading, verses for Motzaei Shabbat, kiddush levanah, Hatavat Chalom, prayers for Rosh Chodesh occurring on weekdays and Shabbat, mussaf for festivals, kiddush for festivals, blessings for the Esther scroll reading (including the Shoshanat Yaakov piyyut), blessings for a Brit Milah (including special blessing for the circumcision of a convert) and wedding, Yotzer for a Shabbat Brit Milah, prayers for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Hoshanot piyyutim, piyyutim and reshuyot (texts for calling the Chatanim to the Torah) for Simchat Torah (the reshut for the Chatan Torah mentions the name Shmuel son of David, while the reshut for the Chatan Bereshit mentions Moshe son of Shmuel [presumably son of the aforementioned Shmuel], the owners of the manuscript), Birkat Kohanim, order of Passover (incomplete; ends in the middle of the Haggadah).
The manuscript is lacking the beginning (until the end of the weekday Shacharit prayer) and the end (from the middle of the Passover Haggadah). Also lacking a few leaves in several places in the middle.
Marginal glosses on several pages (mostly trimmed).

[110] thin parchment leaves (one leaf bound out of sequence). Approx. 16 cm. 15 lines per page. Good-fair condition. Stains (including dark stains; significant stains to several pages). Open tears (some large), affecting text in several places, repaired. Several leaves with natural holes to parchment. Stitched tear to one leaf. Marginal glosses trimmed in several places. All leaves professionally restored (coated with tissue paper). New leather binding (placed in a clamshell box).

Reference and exhibition:
• Geschichten von Gegenständen: Judaika aus dem Beziehungsraum der Hohenemser Juden, the Gross Family Collection, Tel Aviv. Jüdisches Museum Hohenems, Hohenems, 1994; Catalog edited by Eva Grabherr, pp. 164-167.
• Index of Jewish Art, Gross Family Collection, Jerusalem, Centre of Jewish Art, 1985, Part One, Volume Two: Manuscripts and Printed Books, pp. 521-535.
1. Sotheby's New York, 6-7 December 1984, lot 169.
2. The Gross Family Collection, Tel Aviv, GR.012.002.
Special thanks to Prof. Sara Offenberg, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, for her report.

Broadsides, Jewish Ceremonial Art, Parchment Manuscripts