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Object Alone

Obj. ID: 1500
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Joseph's Italian Siddur, Italy, 1492

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown,
Summary and Remarks

The present manuscript is a siddur of the Roman rite for the entire year. According to the colophon (fol. 382v), it was copied on6 October 1492 (15 Tishrei [5]253) by Joseph b. Samuel of Rossano (a section of Canossa, in theprovince ofReggio-Emilia, Emilia).


The decoration of the manuscript was executed by two different hands. The first hand seems to be that of the scribe Joseph ben Samuel, who added some marginal drawings including four text illustrations, three of which are in the Haggadah for Passover, as well as simple pen decoration for letters and initial words (see: Decoration Program). Besides the evidence that the ink used for the decoration is very close to that of the script, the contact between the script and the decoration is particularly visible in those drawings stemming from the descenders of letters, such as on e.g. fols. 108v, 113v, 222 and 368.


The second stage of the decoration consists of many simple red filigree initial words panels (except for one executed in violet ink (fol. 380). This type of decoration was possibly rendered by another hand, which sometimes passes over the script, (e.g. fol. 86) and the brown-ink decoration; the styles, though both very simple, do not seem have done by the same hand. These pen-work flourishes, incorporating buds and foliage, are very common in Northern and Central Italy during the 15th century, and comparisons can be made with other manuscripts produced in Northern Italy such as from the 1490 mahzor at the JNUL, MS. Heb. 8 4450 and the appertaining second part in the Weill collection,Jerusalem (see: Metzger, 1976, No. 174 and fig. 10; Cohen, 1989, Kat. No. 46, fig. 81) that was written by Leon Yehuda bar Yehoshua (de Rossi) ofCesena.  There are also similar forms in Biblioteca Ambrosiana inMilan, Ms. A 192 (see: Luzzatto-Mortara Ottolenghi, Tab. VII).


The same scribe, Joseph b. Samuel of Rossano copied five years later, in 1497, amahzor of Roman rite of which only the second volume survived (for Shavuot to Simhat Torah, Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, Parm. 3493; see: Richler cat. No. 943), sparsely decorated with similar "crude" style, such as the drawing of the arm and raised hand drawn on fol. 719). Joseph b. Samuel of Rossano is mentioned in two sale inscriptions found at the end of another manuscript:  "Sefer Hashorashim" by David Kimhi, (Breslau - Juedisch-Theologisches Seminar 65, fol. 235v): in the first inscription he is recorded as the purchaser of the manuscript, in 12 December 1494, while in the following inscription, Joseph ben Samuel himself testifies he sold the manuscript on 18 June, 1495 to Joseph ben Judah of Ancona.


In conclusion, Cod. Hebr. 87 is a witness of the continued production of Hebrew manuscripts decorated by pen-work in Northern-Central Italyat the end of the 15th century.



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Joseph's Italian Siddur | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
6 October 1492
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Historical Origin
Community type
Unknown |
Unknown| Italian manuscripts decorated by pen-work of the 1
Period Detail
Austria | Vienna | Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)
| Cod. Hebr. 87 (Schwarz No. 95)
Documentation / Research project
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form
Material / Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Construction material
Panel Measurements
Good Fols. 138v-139 : very faded Fols. 311-313v : almost the whole text is faded
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Siddur of the Roman rite for the entire year with explanations of the rituals. Bedikah laws: fols. 5v- 12 Shaharit: (fols. 13-85v) Various Blessings: (fols. 86-99), including Prayer for the Traveller (fol. 86) and Blessing after Meals (fols. 94-99) Minhah: (fols. 99v-100) Arvit: (fols. 100-104) Bettering of a dream: (fols. 104-106) Reading/ Kriyat Shema at bedtime: (fols. 106-108) Sabbath: (fols. 108v-200) including: Eruvei Batim and Hazerot (fol. 108v); Arvit and Zemirot Shabbat and Kiddush (fols. 109 - 120v); Shaharit (fols. 120v-155); Musaf (fols. 155-158); Kiddush (fols. 158-159v); Minhah, including the Sabbath Psalms [Ps. 120-134] recited from Shabbat Bereshit till Shabbat Ha-Gadol (fols. 160-179); Arvit for End of Shabbat (fols. 179-183); Havdalah (fols. 183-189) New Moon: (fols. 189v-189), including: Hallel, (fols. 189v-194v); Musaf (fol. 195); Shabbat Rosh Hodesh (fols. 197-198) including Yozer (fol. 197); Musaf (fols. 198-200) Hanukkah: (fols. 200-202v) including: candle lighting (fol. 200); Shabbat Hanukkah (fol. 202); Shabbat Hanukkah and Rosh Hodesh (fol. 202v); Tenth of Tevet: fol. 202v Four Parshiyot: fol. 203 Fast of Esther: fol. 203v Blessings for the Reading of Esther Scroll: fols. 204-207 Shabbat Ha-Gadol: fols. 207-208v Passover: (fols. 208v-252), including: Bedikat Chametz and Bi'ur Chametz (fol. 208v); Eruvei Tavshilin (fol. 209); Arvit (fols. 210-213); Kiddush (fols. 213v-216); Haggadah (fols. 216-231v); Shaharit (fols. 231v-237v); Musaf (fols. 237v-252) Absolving curses: (fols. 252v-254v) Shavuot: (fols. 254v-261v), including: Amidah (fols. 255-260); Musaf (fols. 260-261v) Seventeenth of Tammuz: fol. 262 Ninth of Av: fols. 262v-263v New Year: (fols. 263v-286v), including: Arvit (fols. 263v-267v); Shaharit (fols. 267v-271); Musaf (fols. 271-286v) Fast of Gedaliah: (fol. 287) Day of Atonement: (fols. 287v-325), including: Kol Nedarim (fols. 289-290); Arvit (fols. 290-297v), Shaharit (fols. 297v-304v); Musaf (fols. 304v-313v); Minhah (fols. 313v-320v); Ne'ilah (fols. 320v-325). Sukkot: (fols. 325v-367); including: Hosha`anot (fols. 336-350v); Shemini Azeret (fols. 350v-367) Circumcision Service: fols. 367v-370 Redemption of the First-born son: fol. 370 Marriage Service: fols. 371-375v Burial Service: fols. 376-382

Material:  Parchment II + 384 + 1 leaves.

Easy to distinguish between hair side and flesh sides. (hair side is clearly evident on e.g., fols. 38v-39, 44v-45, 74v-75, 148v-149, 166v-167)



Full page: 60 x50 mm

Text space: 35 x (27-30) mm



Scribe A

Main text

Fols. 13-382v

Later Scribe B


Fols 1-12



Written in semi-cursive Italian script in brown ink.



Written in one text column



Number of lines

Main text written:

in 13 lines in one columns for page



Ruling by ink for 13 horizontal lines only. Sometimes ruling for vertical lines (1 + 1) by plummet on both sides is discernable, e.g. fols. 51v, 55v, 64, 91v, 92, 104, 124, 197v, 239v



No pricking is discernable



40 quires of ten leaves each except for: I2, II8+1 (fols. 5-11), VIII8 (fols. 62-69v), XII8 (fols. 100-107v), XXVIII6 (fols. 258-263v), XXXIX12 (fols. 264-275), XXX4 (fols 276-279v), XXXIV12-1 (fols. 310-320v), XXXV14 (fols. 321-334v), XXXVI8 (fols. 335-342v), XXXIX12 (fols. 363-374v)



Catchwords written horizontally in the lower left hand margin of the last verso of the quire, e.g. fols. 51v, 61v, 187v, 197v, 227v, 257v, 275v, 289v, 299v, 309v, 334v, 342v, 352v, 362v, 374v. Catchwords that are not discernable were probably cut out with the margins.


Hebrew numeration



Blank leaves

Fols 383-384


Number of Lines
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Façade (main)
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
1. Fol. 382v, upper part of the page: בט"ו ימים לירח תשרי שנת/ זמרו אלהים זמרו ככלות/ המלאכה הזאת על ידי/ הקטון שבחבורה יוסף/ בכמ"ר שמואל מרושינה נב"ת [נפשו בעדן תנוח] האל/ יזכהו לקרות בו הוא ואחרים באלה/ הדברים וכיר"א [וכן יהיה רצון אמן]. Translation: “On the fifteenth of Tishrei [5]253 (1492) Joseph b. Samuel of Rossano completed writing this manuscript…”
Scribal Notes
Emphasis of the scribe's name: Joseph (יוסף): Fol. 25v, 4th line from the top the name Joseph (יוסף) is marked by a leaf of corn in the right margin. Fol. 180, 4th line from the bottom: the name Joseph (יוסף) is marked by a row of short lines over the word. Fol. 180, last line: the name Joseph (יוסף) is marked above by a small flower drawn in ink. Fol. 91v, lower margin in the centre: ה' ישמור את נפשו Fol. 382, two last text lines: ברוך הנותן עוז ותעצומות לעם/ ודעת לנפשו ינעם
Trade Mark

Parchment on cardboard with blind tooled foliate frame. Metal strap and pin. Gilt and coffered.  Yellow, green and black marble pastedown and both fly leaves.

Decoration Program


The decoration program of the manuscript was rendered by two different hands. The first hand, possibly the scribe himself, executed many marginal drawings (e.g. fols. 30v, 74, 99v, 104v, 107v, 117v, 127v, 140, 147v, 157v, 162v , 167v, 171v, 185v, 190v, 207v, 217v, 222, 286, 325, 368), including four text illustrations, and word decorations in dark brown ink very close to that of the script (e.g.: fols.; 108v, 202;  202v, 203, 208v, 209). The second hand made many filigree initial word panels in red ink, and one in violet ink (fol. 380).  

First Hand:

  1. I.        Simple marginal drawings: hands (fols. 30v, 185v), one hand holding an unidentified object (fol. 162v), one holding a ribbon (fol. 222); one pointing to a flower (fol. 368); some drawings on top of initial words (e.g.: a dragon on fol. 209; some animals and drolleries on fols. 108v, 202; simple decoration: fols. 202v, 203, 208v, 209), other marginal drawings: a vessel (fol. 325); remnants of other marginal drawings cut out by the binder (e.g. fols. 74, 99v, 104v, 107v, 117v, 127v, 140, 147v, 157v, 167v, 171v, 190v, 207v, 217v); one decorated catchword (fol. 227v) by simple pen-drawing.
  2. II.      Text illustrations: one hand raising a basket illustrating the text "הא לחמא", fol. 216; one hand holding the mazzah and one hand holding a bunch of lettuce leaves, illustrating the mazzah and the maror texts on fol. 227; one hand holding a feather illustrating the signing of the Judgment on New Year, on fol. 286);
  3. III.    Decorated decenders: of letters kof (ק') (e.g. fols. 30v, 113v, 121v, 249v), final nun (ן) (e.g. fols. 113v, 124v, 382), final zadik (ץ) (e.g. fols. 116, 300, 367); and sign of the Name of the Lord (e.g. fols. 86, 121v).
  4. IV.    Shaped text: three full-pages containing tow lines of text from the repetition of the Amidah of Musaf of New Year, written in X-shape (fols. 278-9) and one page with text written in the shape of a sand clock/hourglass (fol. 279v).


Second Hand:

  1. Initial word panels: decorating many initial words within the text in red ink, except one in violet ink (fol. 380). The panels are composed of three concentric red frames and decorated with flourishes extensions along the margins.


Suggested Reconsdivuction
Fols. 62, 291: Censor’s erasures. Fol. 382v, Censors’ signatures: “Camillo Jaghel 1613”, and an additional name which is erased Fol. 384v, Censor's signature: “Visto p[e]r me fra[te] Renato da Mod[ena] 1626 "Reviewed for me Fra Renato da Modena, 1626 Fol. 3, owner's inscription within a frame (shaped as an ex-libris) עשות צדקה/ ומשפט/ קנין כספי/ אלישמע/ פואה Doer of charity and justice /purchased with my money, Elishama Foa Fols. 4-4v, a series of birth notices בליל ה' י"ב שעות ט' לחדש כסליו תס"ט ליאנורה, ביום ראשון ו' לחדש איר ת"ע בת שבע, ביום שלישי לחדש סיון תע"ג אליעזר חי, ביום ראשון כ"ב לחדש שבט תע"ו מיכאל אברהם, בליל שביעי ... שבת תע"ח כ"א ניסן גבריאל שלום, Leonora, born twelve o’clock on Thursday, the ninth of Kislev 469 (1709) – 22.11.1708 Batsheva, born on Sunday, the sixth of Iyar 470 (1710) - Eliezer Hai, born on the third of Sivan 473 (1713) – 28.5.1713 Michael Avraham, born on Sunday night, the twenty second of Shevat 476 (1716) – 15.2.1716 Gavriel Shalom, born on Saturday night 21 Nissan 478 (1718) – 22.4.1718 Fols. 1v-2v: a note by Dr. Lazar Elias Igel from Lemberg, who explains that on August 19, 1850 he donated the manuscript to the Hofbibliothek following persuasion by Goldenthal, a professor at the University of Vienna. Igel had received the manuscript by his teacher Rabbi Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865).
Main Surveys & Excavations
Schwarz, A. Z., Hebräischen Hss. Wien, 1925 Schwarz, A. Z., Die hebräischen Handschriften der Nationalbibliothek in Wien , Leipzig, 1925, No. 110 (No. 95?), p. 112
Michal Sternthal Anna Nizza | October 2002 February 2004
Author of description
Anna Nizza | 2004; 10.2006 1.2008
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconstruction
Section Head
Michal Sternthal | 10.2006
Language Editor
Judy Cardozo | 1.2007
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |