Auction 69 Part 1 Rare and Important Items
Dec 3, 2019 (Your local time)
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.

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LOT 10:

Illustrated Parchment Manuscript – Keter Kehuna – Prayers for the High Holidays, Three Festivals, and More – Pápa, 1833

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Sold for: $10,000
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Illustrated parchment manuscript – selected prayers for the High Holidays, Three Festivals, and more. [Pápa, Austrian Empire, presently: Hungary], 1833.
Beautiful manuscript, with an illustrated title page and eight illustrations within the text.
Square, vocalized Ashkenazic script. Instructions in non-vocalized semi-cursive (Rashi) script.
The text of the title page is set within an architectural border comprising a paved platform with two wreathed columns supporting a vaulted dome, topped by a crown.
The title page indicates the name of the person for whom the manuscript was penned, the year of writing, the name of the scribe and illustrator, and his location: " Keter Kehuna – Belongs to the esteemed… HeChaver R. Leib Harsh, son of HeChaver R. Yissachar HaKohen. Completed on Thursday, 11th Shevat 1833, by Tzvi Hirsch Chazan of Pápa".
The manuscript comprises various blessings and selected prayers for the following occasions: Eruv Tavshilin, removing the Torah scroll from the ark on Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and the Three Festivals, Birkat Kohanim, Tashlich, "A beautiful prayer to be recited at
the sukkah ("May it be Your will… to allow Your Divine night before entering the sukkah", Pidyon HaBen and Birkat HaLevana.
Every page is delineated with a square border. Some texts are accompanied by fine, painted illustrations, as follows:
Leaf [2a]: A basket with flowers. A woman points to the basket as a man holding a book recites the appropriate blessing.
Leaf [2b]: Two angels hover on either side of the words "Hashem, Hashem" (initial words of the thirteen attributes of mercy).
Leaf [4b]: A Levi washes the hands of a Kohen in preparation for Birkat Kohanim.
Leaf [5b]: A spray of flowers tied with a bowed ribbon.
Leaf [6a]: A pair of lions, a wreath in their mouths.
Leaf [6b]: Two men seated at a table for a business meeting (presumably symbolizing prosperity, as this illustration accompanies the prayer "In the book of life, blessing, peace and abundant livelihood…").
Leaf [7b]: Two men with prayerbooks standing on the grassy banks on either side of a river, reciting Tashlich.
Leaf [8a]: A pair of birds perched on branches flank the initial word "Yehi" of the prayer recited before entering Presence to reside amongst us, and spread over us the canopy of Your peace…").
The woman and men depicted in the illustrations are in contemporary European dress.
The manuscript was presumably named Keter Kehuna, since it was written for a Kohen, and it includes the orders of Birkat Kohanim (the priestly blessing) and Pidyon HaBen (redemption of the male first born), which are pertinent for kohanim. It appears that the common denominator between all the texts in this manuscript is that they are recited at times when it is more convenient to hold a small book or manuscript, such as during Tashlich (prayer recited on Rosh Hashana by a body of water), Birkat HaLevana (blessing of the new moon), and others. Likewise, the manuscript includes the prayers of "Avinu Malkeinu… Zechor Rachamecha" and "BeSefer Chaim… HaYom TeAmetzenu", which are recited during the High Holidays while the kohanim are still standing on the dais, to spare the kohen the need of bringing his personal machzor with him to the dais.
Familial birth records on one of the empty parchment leaves at the end of the manuscript, mentioning the years 1853 and 1854.
Inscription on the back endpaper (in cursive Ashkenazic script) of the owner for whom this manuscript was penned: " R. Leib Harsh Kahn – 1847".
[11] leaves. Several blank parchment leaves at beginning and end of manuscript. 15.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Traces of past dampness, with slight damage to ink in several places. Top of title page cropped, affecting points of crown illustration. Original leather binding, with gilt tooled decorations, repaired. Placed in new, elegant case, with gilt decorations (slightly damaged).
Provenance: Sotheby's, New York, 30th November 2005.

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