The Five Megillos with Commentaries
Shir Hashirim, Koheles, Megillas Esther, Rus with Rashi commentary, and Megillas Eichah with the commentary of Rabbi Yosef Kara.
The body of the Megillah is printed in block, vowelized letters, and the commentary is in medium-sized Rashi script.
Printed by Yosef ben Yaakov Ashkenazi Gunzenhauser in Naples as part of the series on Kesuvim that he published between the years 1487-1488. Gunzenhauser was the first Hebrew printer in Naples. His printing press was active between the years 1486-1492.
The five Megillos, are read in shul, each on a different holiday:
Megillas Esther – on Purim
Megillas Shir Hashirim – on Pesach
Megillas Rus – on Shavuos
Megillas Koheles – on Sukkos
Megillas Eichah – on Tisha B’Av
Naples, 1487. The print date of 1487 is based on information from the bibliography below.
 leaves. 26.7 cm. Impressive margins, good condition.
Stefansky, Sifrei Yesod, Incunabula (in preparation for printing) # 25
Yakirson, Catalog of the Hebrew incunabula from the collection of the Library of the Beit Midrash HaRabanim in America (New York Jerusalem 5644) No. 46
A.K. Offenberg, Hebrew Incunabula in Public Collections, Nieuwkoop 1990, no. 46
Yudlov, Issac, A Document Regarding the Sale of Incunabula in Naples in the Fifteenth Century. Ausufot 10, 1997, p. 79
Incunabula (plural of incunable) are books, pamphlets, or broadsides printed in Europe prior to the 16th century. The word derives from the Latin term ‘cradle’ or ‘swaddling cloth, ’ connoting the infancy of the printed word. While the incunable period actually stretches across a half-century, from 1455-1500, the first Hebrew presses opened years later, and thus the period of Hebrew incunabula is limited to a mere thirty years, from 1469-1500.
The estimated number of Hebrew works printed during the incunable period is approximately two hundred. Today, we are aware of some 140 titles, albeit many of them are incomplete copies.
Incunabula are desirable collectibles, highly sought-after by antique Judaica collectors.
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