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A Rare Printed Hebrew Book Added to the Hebrew University Library

One of the only five known copies in the world of the first edition of “Meshal Hakadmoni,” the first illustrated printed Hebrew book, has been added to the incunabula collection of the Jewish National and University Library at the Hebrew University, the University announced Wednesday.

The copy was donated to the library by Ludwig Jesselson of New York, who purchased it for $175,000 the highest price ever paid for a Hebrew printed book.

It was written by the 13th-century Hebrew poet and scholar Isaac Ben Solomon Abi Sahula and printed by the Soncino Press in Brescia, Italy, in 1941.

The book is a collection of fables and allegories in rhymed prose embellished with 75 pictorial woodcuts. It will be displayed to the public after undergoing restoration in the library’s laboratory for restoration and preservation.

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