Auction 92 Part 1 Rare and Important Items

Responsa of the Maharik – First Edition – Venice, 1519 – Printed by Daniel Bomberg

Opening: $2,500
Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000
Sold for: $3,250
Including buyer's premium

Responsa of the Maharik, by R. Yosef Colon. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1519. First edition.
Colophon on the final page, stating that the book was completed on Wednesday, 22nd Adar 1519 by the sons of Baruch Adelkind for Daniel Bomberg of Antwerp.
R. Yosef Colon – the Maharik (ca. 1420 – 1480), leading Italian rabbi in the 15th century and prominent Halachic authority. Born in France to R. Shlomo, a descendant of Rashi. In his youth he travelled through various Italian towns, serving as a teacher of young children, and already then began issuing halachic rulings. He served as rabbi of Piedmont, where he established a yeshiva. Ca. 1430 he was appointed rabbi of Mantua. His prominent disciples include R. Ovadia of Bartenura, R. Eliyahu Delmedigo, R. Yisrael Ashkenazi, R. Azriel Diena, and others. The Maharik owned a particularly large library, including unknown anthologies of Tosafot and books of the Rishonim. In general, he mentions more books and textual versions than any other halachic authority.
Responsa of the Maharik was first published after his passing by his disciple R. Chiya Meir son of R. David. At the beginning of the book, the publisher listed "shorashim", a synopsis of each responsum, explaining in his foreword that since most of the responsa branch out to discuss side topics, he decided to pinpoint the main focus of each responsum. In time, the sections of this work were referred to as "shorashim". Several subsequent editions were published, with some variations. The publisher R. Chiya Meir writes that there are other responsa by the Maharik, which he was not able to obtain despite his efforts. Only in the last generation was the book published with the addition of several dozen responsa from a manuscript. Immediately after its publication, the book became a classic halachic work, and several years later, when R. Yosef Karo composed the Shulchan Aruch and based himself on it in many places, the book became one of the pillars of halachic ruling for the entire Jewish people (see: R. Y. Buxbaum, Toldot Rabbenu Yosef Colon VeShitato, introduction to Responsae and Decisions of Rabbi Joseph Colon, Machon Yerushalayim, Jerusalem 1999, pp. 19-49).
Ownership inscription on the title page: "…acquired with my money for the service of my Creator, Yitzchak son of Yosef". Glosses (some trimmed) by several writers on title page and other leaves.

[10], 233 leaves. 233 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains, including dampstains. Wear. Worming, affecting text. Tears, including marginal open tears to several leaves, not affecting text, repaired in part with paper. Handwritten inscriptions on title page. New leather binding.

Habermann, The Printer Daniel Bomberg, no. 16.

Early Printed books
Early Printed books