AMSTERDAM (May. 27)
A play in Urdu, but with Hebrew characters, that was published centuries ago in Calcutta, and a rare set of prints titled “Hasidic Legends,” clandestinely done by the non-Jewish Dutch printer Hendrik Werkman in 1941, are some of the rare items of Judaica that will be auctioned by Christie’s Amsterdam beginning June 4.
Werkman was executed by the Nazis in April 1945, only a few days before the liberation of Groningen.
The most valuable object in the 390 lots from all parts of the world is the manuscript of a Rosh Hashanah prayer book copied in France sometime in the 13th century.
The manuscript of 209 folio pages on fine vellum was discovered by the late Alexander Scheiber of Budapest in 1956, in the Hungarian town of Miskolc.
Other manuscripts to be auctioned include illuminated marriage contracts dating from the 18th and early 19th centuries, mainly from Florence and Genoa.
There is a four-volume Hebrew Bible printed in Paris between 1543 and 1546 by Robertus Stephanus, and a 12-volume Babylonian Talmud printed in Amsterdam by Proops in the mid-1700s.
Paintings to be sold include two of Polish Jewish scholars by Isidor Kaufman, and a portrait of Sir Moses Montefiore painted by William Jenkins in 1885.
Another item is a collection of illustrations by L. Lissitsky for a Yiddish children’s book.