The Second New York Joel Ben Simeon Haggadah, which has the typical Italian codicology, with ten folio quires using burnished parchment, was executed by Joel after he went toItalyand reveals an experienced scribe-artist. His sure hand allows him to play and decorate his letters in an elaborate manner. By 1454, when this Haggadah was copied and illuminated, Joel must have been in Lombardy, in the north of Italy for at least two years since he copied the mahzor in Cremona in 1452 (Turin, Royal Library, now destroyed by fire).
Our Haggadah is mainly decorated, having just a single text illustration (fol. 26) depicting the hand of God. The decoration, which includes many human figures and faces, is profuse and suits the style and repertoire of motifs that Joel developed during his early stay inItaly. Outstanding are the array of faces in a panel (fol. 15v), and the two examples of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic letters (fols. 34v, 54v). To some extent, these and a few other decorations are more delicate and elegant compared with the arcaded double opening (fols. 37v-38). The latter is somewhat crude and unsophisticated, possibly done by an apprentice, or on one of Joel's "bad days". At a later stage, Joel developed many more subjects to illustrate the text of the
This image belongs to the ''Ursula and Kurt Schubert Archive'' in the Center for Jewish Art.
Parchment; 59 leaves; (270-275) x (202-210) mm; text space on fols. 15v-59 (>Haggadah>) (165-170) x (115-120) mm. and (115-180) x110 mm. on fols. 2-15 (laws and instructions).
The text is written in square Ashkenazi script in light brown ink; 11 lines per page on fols. 15v-59 (Haggadah) and up to 27 lines on fols. 2-15 (laws and instructions).
Ruling by stylus: 11 horizontal lines and 1 + 2 vertical lines. Pricking is noticeable in all outer margins.
7 quires of 10 leaves each, except for I&&1&&, IV&&8&&.
Catchwords are written vertically in the lower left-hand corner of the final verso of most quires. Some catchwords are decorated.
Fols. 1 and 11 are blank.
Original 15th century brown leather on wood with blind-tooled geometrical decoration of interlacing fillets on the front and back, which are almost entirely worn. The binding is in poor condition.
A. One text illustration (fol. 26, see card).
B. 2 richly decorated double arches in brown and red ink (fols. 37v-38, see below).
C. 8 initial word panels decorated with human heads (fol. 15v) and figures (fol. 58, 58v), a deer (fol. 30), a hare (fol. 57v), an eagle (fol. 58v), and flourishes (fol. 43v), or shaped as a curtain (fol. 50) or a wreath (fol. 57); mostly coloured with brown and red ink and blue and white paint (see below).
D. 9 initial words decorated with marble-like undulating motifs (fols. 27, 29, 52), a banderole (fol. 27), acanthus leaves (fol. 30) and rosettes (fol. 31v), or filled with anthropomorphic and zoomorphic creatures (fols. 34v, 54v), mainly pen-drawn in brown and red ink (see below).
E. Many initial words decorated with penwork flourishes in brown and red ink (e.g. fols. 12v, 18v, 19, 26 (see card), 33, 33v (see bwlow), 40v, 54).
F. Some initial words have overlapping letters (e.g. fols. 14v, 25v, 28 (see below), 42v (see below)).
G. Numerous red and brown ink flourishes and minute floral motifs within the text column (e.g. fols. 13, 13v (see below), 14, 23v, 31, 33, 39v, 43 (see below), 49v, (see below), 56).
H. Decorated ascenders and descenders (e.g. fols. 24v (see card), 32, 34, 35, 48 (see below)).