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Bidding Information
Lot #    32397
Auction End Date    12/20/2011 11:35:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Codex Maimuni: Moses Maimonides' Code of law
Author    [First English Ed.]
City    [Budapest]
Publisher    Corvina
Publication Date    1984
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First English edition. 171, [2] pp., 458:326 mm., clean crisp copy with dust jacket.
   Codex Maimuni: Moses Maimonides' Code of law : the illuminated pages of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah. The Mishneh Torah codex in the Oriental Collection at the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (also known as the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah-No. A77) is one of the most outstanding surviving exemplars of mediaeval Hebrew book production. This Code of Law by the great scholar Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (better known as "Rambam" or Maimonides) is a systematic compilation of the Biblical, Talmudic and post-Talmudic religious laws and rules of life, which served the Jews of the Middle Ages as a universal book of law. This work was completed in Cairo in 1180 and has survived in several manuscript copies. The one presented here (now located in Budapest) was copied in 1295-1296, most probably in France. The 1304 pages of this exquisitely illuminated four-volume codex are inscribed in black, red and blue ink and are adorned with a number of miniatures. The title-pages of the introduction and of each of the fourteen books all exhibitBiblical or other scenes. The spiritual effect of the Biblical scenes is heightened by contrast with the profane and grotesque scenes which appear in the margins. Apart from the miniatures and the illuminations, the beauty of this codex is further enhanced by its ornamental script, the painstaking design of the individual pages and the careful arrangement of the text itself. At the end of some chapters, the scribe arranged his text in pictorial configuration, generally in the shape of a stylized fleur-de-lis. One hundred and seventeen years after the copying and illustration of the text, a scribe in Cologne appended marginal notes by various authors in appropriate locations on some pages of the codex. In doing so, he took special care to preserve the artistic harmony of the pages by arranging his notes in corresponding geometrical or figurative forms. This book, published jointly by Corvina / Helikon / Strassburger, presents sixty-eight of the most beautiful pages from the illuminated codex of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah. These pages have been selected by Professor Alexander Scheiber, whose introductory essay also provides a summary of the main information available on the life of Maimonides, the Mishneh Torah and this codex. Art historian Gabrielle Sed-Rajna describes the codex in the context of art history and provides detailed explanations of the illustrations. This first English edition was enhanced through the valuable original contributions of several famous scholars, namely Professors I. Twersky, J. Blau and S. Pines.
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Other:    Hungary
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    English, Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica