At Auction | Passover Haggadah from 1726

Posted in Art Market by Editor on November 21, 2013

The story of this recently discovered manuscript was featured at The Antiques Trade Gazette back in September and then at the BBC in October; but it has received lots of attention over the past few days after being featured in The Daily Mail and The Independent. It’s estimated to fetch between between £100,000 and £150,000.

Update (added 24 November): As reported by the Manchester Evening News, the Haggadah fetched £210,000.

Silver, Judaica, Jewellery, and Watches Sale
Adam Patridge Auctioneers, Macclesfield, 22 November 2014

getImage.phpIn July 2013 this important Haggadah was found in a routine house contents valuation. It will be offered for auction on the 22nd November at The Cheshire Saleroom as part of a specialist one day auction of Judaica, Silver, Jewellery & Watches.

A rare and important 18th-century Passover Seder Haggadah, written and illuminated on vellum by Aaron Wolff Shreiber Herlingen of Gewitsch, Pressberg, 5486 [1726 CE]. The pictorial title border depicts Aaron and Moses and is inscribed in Hebrew “Written by Aaron son of Benjamin Wolff 1726 for Mendel Oppenheimer. This Aaron was a friend of Moses Mendelsohn.” Aaron Wolff Herlingen was active 1721–1755 and held the position of official scribe at the Imperial Library in Vienna.

Original Viennese red-dyed vellum binding over pasteboard, 20-leaf, each 242mm x 162mm, containing 45 coloured vignettes of 27mm x 45mm and 11 coloured vignettes of 77mm x 120mm. Slight food and wine staining throughout.

It is thought that the manuscript was commissioned to mark the birth of Emanuel Mendel Oppenheimer (1726–80), the first child of Samuel Emanuel Oppenheimer of Vienna and a close descendant of the great banker and imperial court diplomat Samuel Oppenheimer (1630–1703).

Provenance: This was inherited by the current vendor in 2007. It has been in the family for over 100 years.

3 Responses

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  1. Michael Yonan said, on November 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Wow!! That’s amazing.

    • Editor said, on November 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      Yes, Michael! I was waiting to see the sale price before responding. The news coverage suggested the estimates were on the low side, and indeed the manuscript did surpass them, fetching £210,000. With all my art historical expertise, I can assure you I have no such treasure in my garage. -CH

      • Michael Yonan said, on November 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm

        Nor do I. I suspect that a lot of judaica in particular is still to be found in garages, attics, plastered into walls, and hidden in other such places. This is a particularly interesting object since it has connections to the Habsburg imperial library, which really caught my attention.

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