Lot : 24

Torah - Tikkun Sofrim 

Amsterdam, 1666 



Rare Title Page 

Artistically Hand-Drawn

Start price: $10,000
Est. Price: $12,000 - $18,000

Torah – Tikkun Sofrim 

Amsterdam, 1666 



Rare Title Page 

Artistically Hand-Drawn


Five Books of the Torah with Haftorahs. Proofread and precise, based on a flawless Torah Scroll belonging to Rabbi Michael Yehuda Leon the Scribe.

Magnificent copy, completely intact including all accompanying title pages and folded charts. Gilded pages with artistically-embossed frames.

The first title page is an exquisite copperplate creation hand-painted in red, green and gold colors.

The top features a crown held by two angels, and both sides of the title page boast miniature engravings depicting stories in Tanach: 1) Shmuel Hanavi anointing Dovid Hamelech; 2) Dovid Hamelech dancing before the Aron; 3) Shlomo’s judgment; 4) Eliyahu on Mt. Carmel.



This work of art was a limited edition, published exclusively for those who appreciate and can afford the beautiful artwork it presents.

The production of this magnificent Chumash, with its hand-painted illustrated title page and magnificent binding, is a reflection of the standard of living enjoyed by the wealthy community of Portuguese Jews in Amsterdam at that time, and shows the great respect they had for holy sefarim, sparing no expense in order to make them beautiful.


Tikkun Sofrim

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time the Chumash was printed under the title Tikkun Sofrim, which became the common term for a proofread and corrected Chumash which a scribe may use as a guide to write a Torah Scroll.


Payment for each mistake

This Chumash was published by the philanthropist Rabbi Shmuel Baruch Roza, who invested generously in ensuring it would be flawless and free of errors. He thus paid the proofreader for every mistake found so the work would be carried out meticulously and with maximal attention to detail. The Rabbis of Amsterdam attest in their approbations, that the publisher would go to the Beis Medrash with the first printed draft and he would hand it, “to the young men for them to inspect and study, and for every mistake they found they were paid a set amount.” Apparently this was the first time a system of payment per mistake was used in the proofreading of Jewish books.

After this Chumash was proofread and corrected, a special team of five expert proofreaders was established to work on this Chumash. (See the message accompanying their signatures on p. 2, b.) 

Sefer Taamei HaTaamim by Rabbi Shlomo de Oliveira, who later served as Rabbi of the Spanish-Portuguese community in Amsterdam, appears at the beginning of the Chumash. Based on this sefer, a 14-page Hebrew calendar with folded charts was subsequently printed in Portuguese.

Amsterdam. 1666. Printed by David de Castro Tartas. [11], 446 [4] leaves 14 sides. Page size: 14 cm. Magnificent copy in excellent condition with all four title pages (2 title pages for the Chumash, 1 title page for the Haftorahs, and a Portuguese title page for the calendar).

 Original Amsterdam leather binding with gold engravings in new matching case.


Item description from the ‘William L. Gross Collection’
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