Paper, I + 240 leaves (wrong foliation, some numbers were skipped)
Watermarks: crowned double-head eagle within a shield (unidentified); crowned double-head eagle with letters H E(?), see: Labarre, V. 109 (Wiener Neustadt 1617); letter P identical to Briquet 8799 (Graz 1596/Brünn 1596/Prague 1603)]
Full page: ca. 201 X 150 mm
Text space: Part I: ca. 130 X ca.100 mm
Part II: (142-157) X (110-120) mm
Part III: (142-151) X (160-170) mm
Scribe A: Part I (fols. 1-175v)
Scribe B: Part II (fols. 176-187v) and III (fols. 192-240)
Part I (fols. 1-175v): Semi-cursive Ashkenazi script
Part II (fols. 176-187v): Semi-cursive Ashkenazi script
Part III (fols. 192-240): Semi-cursive Ashkenazi script
Number of lines
Part I is written in 18-20 lines per page in one column
Part II is written in 21-24 lines per page in one column
Part III is written in 21 lines in one column
No ruling is discernible in all the manuscript
No pricking is discernible in all the manuscript
Part I: 22 quires of 8 leaves each, except for: XXI10-1
Part II: one quire of 16 leaves
Part III: three quires of 16 leaves, except for the last quire, of 17 leaves
Catchwords for pages in all the manuscript, in the left-hand part of the lower margins
No Hebrew numeration
Fols. 188-191; 240v
Fragment of parchment of a Missal (15th century?)
Part II only:
One decorated initial letter (fol. 178): decorated letter shin(ש) at the beginning of the text. The letter occupies the height of 6 text lines, and it is filled with foliate scrolls in brown ink. The conjunctions between the roofs and the arms of the letter are decorated with calices of flowers.
The manuscript includes three treatises: the Mahberet (“The Book of Solutions”) by Menahem ben Jacob Ibn Saruq (Spain, 10th century), a biblical dictionary, one of the earliest treatises on Hebrew grammar; Behinat ‘Olam ("The Book of the Examination of the World”) by Abraham Bedersi Ha-Penini (Provence, c. 1270-1340), a lyrical and ethical work; and the work on astrology Re'shit Hokhmah (“The Beginning of Wisdom”) by Abrahan Ibn Ezra (ca. 1089 – ca. 1164).
The first treatise is written in a different paper bearing watermarks of the beginning of the 17th century. It was presented by Sebastian Tengnagel, Librarian of the Royal Library at the court of King Matthias (after 1611). The second part was ordered by Tengnagel himself and it bears watermarks from the early 17th century as well, identified of the areas of Graz, Brünn or Prague. There are no other indications of place or date of productions, nor of the names of the scribes who copied the manuscript. The sole decorated initial letter shin (ש) at the opening of Behinat ‘Olam [part II, fol. 1 (fol. 178)] can be influenced by printed book decoration, such as the Prague Haggadah of 1526 (see: comparison 1). One possible comparison can be done with the Sefer Evronot in Frankfurt (Staadtbibliothek, ms Hebr. Oct. 31), also dated between the 16th-17th centuries from Central Europe, for the design of the letter, where the roofs of the arms are standing on calyces of flowers (see: comparison no. 2; fol. 5v).
The manuscript was no. 41 of Tengnagel’s collection of Hebrew codices (see History). It was since then in the Imperial Library of Vienna. The manuscript was brought to Paris in 1809, with a great part of the Imperial Library, and returned back to Vienna in 1810.