Historical discovery of 10 pages of an incunabula recently discovered. Rashi’s commentary on the Torah with many important formulaic changes that are not reproduced in other ancient printings; the book was printed using letters that are unknown to other printing houses from the 15th century. The pages were analyzed by Professor Yitzhaq S. Penkower from Bar Ilan University. Here is an excerpt from his study: “The ten pages were taken from another book’s binding. On every page, around 22-23 lines have survived out of 36 lines originally. Additionally, each of the ten pages was cut in two down the middle, and on every line there around six letters missing between the two halves. There are no page headings. No markers. 1. Paper—Signs of watermarks—on five of ten pages (1, 2, 4, 7, 9). Generally similar to Brika 11150 (1484) if only because the shape in the incunabula are more symmetrical. 2. Date: According to the watermark, found on five pages, it is possible to date the incunabula to 1484 approximately. 3. Location: Until now nine incunabulæ have been identified with Rashi’s commentary of the Torah: 1-Rome c. 1470, 2-Reggio di Calabria 1475, 3-Wad Elhagara (Guadalajara) 1476, 4-Bologna 1482, 5-Soncino 1487, 6-Ishar 1490, 7-Lisbon 1491, 8-Napoli 1491, 9-Zamora 1497; Prints 4, 6, 7, 8 included the same Torah nussach, and 4, 6, 7 included Targum Unkelus. Amongst these copies, there is a particular similarity between 3 and 6—they were both printed in Spain; and between 4 and 5—both printed in Italy. There is similarity between #9 and the new one in front of us. Because 9 was printed in Spain, there is room to logically state that this new incunabula was also printed in Spain, given the analogy to the other two pairs above. General description of the incunabula: 10 pages: 1. 6 pages of Behalot’ha-Korach (Numbers 10:21-18:30—with skips). 2. 4 pages, Matot-VeEt’hanan (Numbers 32:24-Deuteronomy 3:24—with skips)—it has Numbers 32:24-33:49, 34:3-6, 34:11-35:25, 36:4-Deuteronomy 1:2, 1:6-13, 1:16-25, 1:41-2:16, 3:1-24. There is one more complete page, from a different copy (collected from gniza at Cambridge University). The adjacent page to the tenth page is here, and is complete with: Deuteronomy 1:41-3:1, 3:1-4:9. The page that adds to this incunabula the commentaries on the following verses: Deuteronomy 2:16-3:1, 3:25-4:9. Printed using two different sets of letters of the Sfardi style: 1. Rabati block letters—the opening words (names of parshiyot), 2. Medium letters and ligatures of alef and lamed—for conjunctions, two types of nun, one especially small and similar to the small kaf. The similarly small nun is found in Rashi’s commentary, in the Ishar 1490 edition and in the Lisbon 1491 edition. Signs of embossing: abbreviations—a dot above the last letter of the shortened word; acronyms—quotation marks above the abbreviation; signs of special words—quotation marks above the word; such as “patah,” “kamatz,” “hashin”; signs of pauses in printing—superscript apostrophe; often superscript quotation marks; filling of lines is done by changing the spaces between words in a line; the name of God is done by a double yud. “Elahot” means “Elohim”. For comparison of Rashi’s commentary, in addition to the other nine incunabulæ, another 35 handwritten Rashi’s commentaries were examined (also those of Mikraot Gedolot, Venice 1525): 22 Ashkenazi, 7 Italian, 5 Spanish, 1 Mizrahi. For the full research read the attached material.
Item sold at
Starting at $25000