£150,000 will buy you this beautiful Hebrew prayer book
If you have a spare £150,000 and a fascination with printing history, then you might like this beautiful miniature illuminated Hebrew prayer book, published in 1745 in Mainz, Germany. Recently listed on AbeBooks by Les Enluminures from Chicago, this is a stunning item.
It contains 13 miniatures and is bound in maroon morocco leather. The illustrations include Moses and Aaron, a woman asleep in her canopied bed, a king in bed surrounded by guards, King David playing a harp, a seven-branched Menorah (the Jewish lampstand), a garden and fruit orchard, a rainbow and a woman with a prayer book, and a woman reciting the blessing. The artist was Jospe Schmalkalden, who worked in the mid-18th century in what became Germany.
The book has belonged to several bibliophiles over the years, including German book collector Joseph Gradenwitz and also shoe retailer Julian Edison, who has collected miniature books since the 1950s. In 2006, Edison co-authored a book called Miniature Books: 4,000 Years of Tiny Treasures, along with bookseller Anne Bromer.