Early Parchment Ashkenazi Siddur Mantua, 1557
Complete rare siddur printed entirely on parchment!
Order of prayer according to the customs of Ashkenaz with many important features.
The siddur includes prayers for the entire year with instructions in Yiddish. Printed on 289 thick parchment leaves .
Very rare! and valuable siddur, in Ashkenazic rite.
The siddur is the most widely-used book in Jewish literature, and due to extensive use, most siddurim have become worn and faded over time.
Early siddurim are extremely hard to find, especially siddurim from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The present siddur is fully intact and beautifully preserved.
To the best of Genazym’s knowledge, there is no other copy of this parchment siddur with all sections intact.
This parchment siddur is bound in green cloth and features decorative silver plates on both the front and back of the siddur. Front plate dated 1648!
Books printed on parchment were custom ordered and reserved for the rich and famous or served as gifts to philanthropists and community dignitaries. Parchment was both expensive and challenging as a printing medium.
Content of Siddur:
The siddur includes Prayers for Weekday, Prayers for Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh; Haggadah shel Pesach with laws and instructions in Yiddish; Birkas Hamazon; Maseches Avos; Prayers for the Festivals; Prayers for Yamim Noraim; Hoshanos; Piyutim for Simchas Torah.
The first part of the siddur, leaves 1-140b, includes Prayers for Weekday, with seventy-two verses and Hatavas Chalom; Prayers for Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh; Brachos for the Megillah and “Asher heini”; Shemoneh Esrei for Festivals; Tzidduk Hadin and Tefillas Haderech.
Leaf 140b: “Prayers for Rosh Chodesh were completed by Yosef bar Yaakov Hy”d of Padua” and sealed with the printer’s emblem.
The second part of the siddur, leaves 141-187 encompasses Eiruv Chatzeros; Eiruv Tavshilin; Haggadah shel Pesach with laws and instructions in Yiddish, complete with Birkas Hamazon and the Yiddish song Almachter Go-tt in; and Sefiras Haomer.
Leaf 187b: “Completed…by and in the name of Yosef…of Padua…here in Mantua” and sealed with the printer’s emblem.
The third part of the siddur, leaves 188-289 includes Maseches Avos; Shemoneh Esrei for Yamim Noraim; Hoshanos; and Piyutim for Simchas Torah.
The siddur concludes with the words “The siddur for the whole year was completed on…the month of Shvat, 5218 (1558) here in the home of Vintorin Ruphinillo” and features the printer’s emblem of Yosef of Padua on the last page.
Binding: The siddur is bound in green cloth, with colorful flyleaves complemented with gold. The binding features hexagonal metal plates, the front plate is engraved with the year 1648 and what is presumably the owner’s initials. The spine features three elliptical metal plates with serrated edges (similar to the cogs of a wheel).
The siddur opens with a list of five owners whose autographs all appear on the page – some in Hebrew and some in Yiddish. The earliest signature is dated some three years after the siddur was printed (1559); and it is followed by signatures dated 1596 and 1723. Among the signatures are the names Hak[atan] Moshe Yehuda Leib ben Moreinu…Yehuda Leib zt”l, Moreh Tzedek here in Brusilla and the state of Bruran; and signatures of the Neimark family.
Twenty-nine leaves (paper) are bound to the end of the siddur, offering space for extra tefillos. Two pages feature a handwritten tefillah dated to the 18th century.
Mantua, 1557. Page Count: 289 leaves. Page Size: 13.5 (height) x 7 cm (thick!)
Condition: Complete; in good condition. Title page dark and slightly faded. The first third of the siddur is creased on the center of the leaf, and there are signs of use and stains on other leaves. Several leaves have a minor crack, yet all the text is clear and intact. Preserved in attractive case with a leather spine.
Box engraved with owner’s initials: M.Z. (This is none other than the renowned Jewish collector Michael Zagayski of Warsaw-New York.)
Provenance: Michael Zagayski, Park Barnet Galleries, New York 1970 Lot 56
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