Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts

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LJS 499 - Farissol, Abraham ben Mordecai, ca. 1451-ca. 1525 - [Igeret orḥot ʻolam] ... [etc.]
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Farissol, Abraham ben Mordecai, ca. 1451-ca. 1525.
[Igeret orḥot ʻolam] ... [etc.] [manuscript].
[Italy, after 1525]
Physical description:
36 leaves : paper ; 197 x 143 (130 x 92) mm. bound to 206 x 153 mm.
Geographical treatise on the locations of all dispersed Jewish peoples, including the first mention of the New World in Hebrew, a diagram representing the sky over the New World, and accounts of the coasts of Africa, India, and the Far East, followed by a copy of a brief 15th-century treatise on chess.
1. f.1r-34v: Igeret orḥot ʻolam / Abraham ben Mordecai Farissol.
2. f.35r-36r: Melitsah tsaḥah ʻal tseḥoḳ ha-shaḳ / Bonsenior ibn Yaḥya.
Ownership inscriptions: Gui Senicano [?], Dalmatia, 1587 (front flyleaf, recto); Domino Jacomo, Gramaldi, Zamaria Razzaro, Zaliman (back flyleaf, verso).
Offered for sale at auction at Sotheby's, 10 Jul. 2012, lot 28.
Purchased by Lawrence J. Schoenberg, 2012.
Deposit by Lawrence J. Schoenberg and Barbara Brizdle, 2012.
Related names:
Finzi, Joseph ben Abraham, scribe.
Ibn Yaḥya, Bonsenior, active 15th century. Melitsah tsaḥah ʻal tseḥoḳ ha-shaḳ.
Jewish diaspora - Early works to 1800.
Geography - Early works to 1800.
Chess - Early works to 1800.
Form / Genre:
Manuscripts, Hebrew - 16th century.
Manuscripts, Renaissance.
Ms. codex.
Title for manuscript supplied by cataloger from title for predominant work (Sotheby's).
Collation: Paper, i + 36 + i; 1-3¹⁰ 4⁶. Catchwords on most leaves (f. 2-33), lower left verso.
Layout: Written in 30 long lines; ruled in faint ink with vertical bounding lines.
Script: Written in Italian semi-cursive Hebrew script by Joseph ben Abraham Finzi di Legnago (Fabrizio Lelli), with a note and drawing in the hand of the author (f. 32v, according to Edna Engel), and a brief work added at the end of the manuscript in a later hand (f. 35r-36r).
Decoration: Diagram of 6 stars and 16 symbols resembling the letter S, with a caption explaining that they represent stars and lines in the sky in the New World (f. 32v); decorative additions in the outer margins of the early leaves of the manuscript, including several manicules (f. 1r-12v).
Binding: Modern morocco, blind-tooled, over pasteboards.
Origin: Written in northern Italy, probably Ferrara, after 1525 (Edna Engel).
The author and his scribal workshop, but not this manuscript, are discussed in Engel, Edna. "Abraham ben Mordecai Farissol: Sephardi tradition of book making in northern Italy of the Renaissance period." In Jewish Art 18 (1992), 149-167.
Cite as:
LJS 499
Manuscript location:
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts University of Pennsylvania LJS 499

Find Related Items:

Collection: Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection
Collection: Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts
Facsimile: Yes
Illuminated: No
Illustrated: Yes
Notated: No
Language: Hebrew
Century: 16th century
Date: 1525
Genre: Codices
Genre: Diagrams
Genre: Manuscripts, Hebrew - 16th century
Genre: Manuscripts, Renaissance
Genre: Treatises
Subject: Chess
Subject: Geography
Subject: Jewish diaspora
Author: Farissol, Abraham ben Mordecai, ca. 1451-ca. 1525
Related names: Finzi, Joseph ben Abraham, scribe
Related names: Ibn Yaḥya, Bonsenior, active 15th century. Melitsah tsaḥah ʻal tseḥoḳ ha-shaḳ
Page material: Paper