Published: July 1, 2015
The star lot, Igroth Shada’r, a collection of almost 120 autograph letters each signed by the most prominent rabbinic leaders of mid Nineteenth Century Eretz Israel reached $195,000.
NEW YORK CITY — Buyers from around the globe bid furiously on rare Hebrew manuscripts at Kestenbaum & Company’s Judaica auction June 25.
Vigorous interest and competitive bidding drove hammer prices well beyond their estimates. The sale’s rare material and that almost one-third of these medieval and pre-modern Hebraic manuscripts remain unpublished added to the appeal. For the week ending June 27, Kestenbaum & Company earned the second highest total proceeds of all book and manuscripts auctions worldwide.
Kestenbaum & Company was honored to have been awarded a singular consignment for auction on behalf of the public authorities of the State of Israel. Much planning went into the preparation of the sale, including the hiring of specialist consultant Rabbi Dovid Kamenetsky of Jerusalem to assist with the scholarly research.
The first 56 lots of the auction were Hebrew manuscripts pertaining to Rabbinics, Kabbalah, Liturgy and the Talmud and every lot received a robust response in the saleroom. The star lot, Igroth Shada’r, a collection of almost 120 autograph letters each signed by the most prominent rabbinic leaders of mid Nineteenth Century Eretz Israel including R. Chaim of Pinsk, R. Israel of Shklov, R. Nathan Nota ben R. Menachem Mendel, reached $195,000 after spirited bidding.
Also performing well were Abraham ben Mordechai Azulai’s autographed Ahava BeTa’anugim, Hebron, 1641, which fetched $80,000; Solomon ben Joshua Adani’s fundamental commentary to the Mishnah, Melecheth Shlomo, Hebron, 1589–1623, which garnered $75,000 and Yoseph ben Moshe Trani’s (The Mahari’t) Teshuvoth, Constantinople, 1604–39, that attained $60,000.
A standout lot from other property offered in the sale was an important and extensive archive of about 1,200 documents relating to the Hebron Massacre of August 1929 that took $36,000.
Kestenbaum & Company’s next auction of Judaica will be November 12, featuring Part II of the Singular Collection of Biblical and Rabbinic Manuscripts as well as rare books and manuscripts from the library of the late Rabbi Dr David de Sola Pool.
For more information, 212-366-1197 or www.kestenbaum.net.
Abraham ben Mordechai Azulai’s autographed Ahava BeTa’anugim, Hebron, 1641, earned $80,000.
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