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Obj. ID: 26164
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Vienna Second Dedication page for Charles VI, Polná (Bohemia), 1733

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

Meshulam Simmel executed this dedication sheet for the Emperor Charles the VI and his wife Elizabeth Christina in 1733. It was presented to them with his other dedication - the Mi SheBerach sheet, made a year earlier, in 1732 (Vienna, Austrian National Library, Cod. hebr. 223) as testified by Simmel himself in his rhymed preface  to the 1733 sheet. This sheet of 1733 is less lavish than the earlier one but includes a new and sophisticated decoration that combines Hebrew and Latin letters in the same row. Each pair of letters is within a rectangular panel filled with courtly scenes, various animal and floral motives in sepia. This motif of opposed/reversed Latin and Hebrew characters composed into each other is newly introduced in his oeuvre.  It is repeated one year later in his sheet for Prince Paul II, Anton of Esterházy, where the Latin and Hebrew names ANTON אנטון are combined.

Our sheet is closely related to the style of the earlier Cod. hebr. 223 even though there are no direct repetitions.

Our sheet also signed by one Samuel Moses of Polna, a Hebrew parchment scribe, who also signed his name in Cod. hebr. 223. It is not clear yet who and what was his rule in these sheets. However, he could be Simmel's father, whose name is also Moses of Polna (Polin).

For further details about the scribe and illuminator Meshulam Simmel of Polna and his work; see Remarks and Bibliography to his Mi SheBerach Dedication page for Charles VI (Cod. hebr. 223).


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Vienna Second Dedication page for Charles VI | Unknown
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Austria | Vienna | Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)
| Cod.hebr.224 (Schwartz No. 207)
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A Dedication page with prayers for Charles the VI King of the Romans, Bohemia, Croatia and Hungary, Archduke of Austria (1685-1740; king 1711-1740)) and his wife Elizabeth Christina of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttl. The prayers are mainly a composition of selected verses from Proverbs and Psalms in Hebrew, German (in Hebrew characters), Latin and Aramaic chosen by the scribe Simmel for the welfare of the Emperor. The page begins with a rhymed preface for the welfare of the Emperor with the acrostic name (זימל for Simmel), the profession (סופר, scribe) and the place of origin (פאלן Polin) of the scribe (see Colophon). The play of letters explains the first Latin title below the first paragraph: ANTECEDENTIA A ME HORUM SCRIBA EXCOGITATA CARMINA HEBRAICA CONTINENT. QUAM SUBMISSISSIMAM PRAEFATIONEM EXPRESSIS IN LITTERIS INITIALIBUS MEO NOMINE . COGNOMINE, PATRIA ET LOCO. In the row below the second Hebrew paragraph is the following Latin entry: HAEC carmina comprehendunt encomium IMPERATORIS, addita benedictione pro longa Conservatione IPSIUS, CONJUGIS, omniumque Consiliariorum, suntque epitome panegyricae totius praesentis tabulae quae significant. Across the width of the text space is the huge name of the emperor CAROLUS. Each letter of his name is written in silver display script within a separate rectangular panel, integrated with the Hebrew letter of the name קאראלוס in golden display script. These Hebrew letters are the acrostic of an Aramaic text running between the letter-panels in smaller square script: עונים קביל אפי רברבי אשטחנא לכורסי ולארעא סגידנא. The Latin translation is written directly below: quae significant VERSUS ALTISSIMAM FACIEM EXPLICO ME AD THRONUM ET TERRAM INCURVO ME. Lingua Targum. ("In front of the highest and his throne I am prostrating myself, in front of the land I am bowing. Aramaic language.") This Aramaic text is flanked on top and bottom by Psalm 34 in minute semi-cursive Ashkenazi script in two lines. It starts on the top right and ends at the bottom left, terminating with the Latin text: HOC EST PSAL. C. 34 ("This is Psalms 34"). The name of Empress Elisabeth – below that of her husband – is emphasized alike, but within smaller panels. Here the Hebrew characters עליזאבעטהא is the initials of the following Aramaic text running in between the panels: ואומרים עתיר לחדא ימיטהון זכאין אינהו בעובדיהון עבידו טבוון הנצחאי אחסנתהון ( "Great prosperity may reach them. They are worthy for it because of their deeds. They are doing good things. Let their ownership be lasting"). The Latin translation below it is: Adaugeant se ILLORUM divitiae valde, quia Justi sunt in omibus operibs suis, multa faciunt bona, idcirco regnu' aeternitatis haereditas ipsorum. The Aramaic text is also flanked on top and bottom by verses from Psalms and Proverbs in the same minute semi-cursive Ashkenazi script in one line, the stressed letters of which form again the acrostic name, profession and origin of the scribe. The verses from right to left are: Ps. 119: 49, 76, 103, 93, 116, 46, 132; 119:160; 17:2; 143: 6; Prov. 3:16; Ps. 72:9; 72:13; 25:13. The lower part of the prayers occupies about two thirds of the sheet, citing verses from Proverbs arranged in three columns. Each column includes 10 sections' in which the main text is in Hebrew square script, is flanked on the left by its Latin translation in minuscule script and on the right with the German translation in small Hebrew semi-cursive characters. The verses from top to bottom are: Right column: Section 1: Prov. 1:2, 3, 5. – Section 2: Prov. 2: 6, 9-10. – Section 3: Prov. 3:2-4. – Section 4: Prov. 4: 7, 11, 12. – Section 5: Prov. 5:1, 18, 21. – Section 6: Prov. 6: 20-22. – Section 7: Prov. 7: 1, 4, 25 (=Hebrew verse 24). – Section 8: Prov. 8:1, 6, 8. – Section 9: Prov. 9: 9-11. – Section 10, Prov. 10:15, 17, 22. Middle column: Section 11, Prov. 11: 8, 25, 30. – Section 12, Prov. 12:14, 19, 28. – Section 13, Prov. 13:14, 15, 22. – Section 14, Prov. 14:26-28. – Section 15, Prov, 15:23, 30, 33. – Section 16, Prov. 16:1, 13, 21. – Section 17, Prov. 17:3, 6, 22. – Section 18, Prov. 18:4, 15, 20. – Section 19, Prov. 19:8, 11, 23. – Section 20, Prov. 20: 5, 8, 28. Left column: Section 21, Prov. 21:1-3. – Section 22, Prov. 22:9, 11, 29. – Section 23, Prov. 23:23-25. – Section 24, Prov. 24:3-5. – Section 25, Prov. 25:2, 3, 12. – Section 26, Prov. 26:2, 20, 22 (in the Hebrew text 22 is before 20). – Section 27, Prov. 27:18, 19, 23. – Section 28, Prov, 28:2, 18, 23. – Section 29, Prov. 29:4, 14, 26.

Material: One sheet of parchment.



Full page:    ca.  735  X  613 mm

Text space: ca.  676  X  546 mm    




The text is written in square and semi-cursive Ashkenazi script as well as in capital and minuscule Latin script in dark and light brown ink. Each type of script is written in various sizes.

Number of columns

The text in the lower part of the sheet is written in three main columns of ten sections each.

Blank leaves

The verso side of the leaf is blank

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The scribe's colophons: Meshulam Simmel signed his name three times in different places of the page: 1. In the lower section of the left column is a German colophon in Latin characters, reads: Carolo VI. Unserem Aller Höchsten Monarchen zu Ehren Habe ich Dieses als DERO aller unterthänigster, gehorsamster und demüthigster Knecht geschrieben und ausgefertiget in DERO Erb-Königreich BOHEIMB in der Hoch Fürstlicher Dietrichsteini’schen Herrschafft Ligenden Stadt Polna. Translation: "Carolo VI. To our all highest monarch I have made this as HIS sub servant, obedient and humble servant, written and made in HIS kingdom BOHEIMB (Bohemia) in the town of Polna." 2. A Hebrew colophon is written in the very last line of the sheet in square Ashkenazi script: ואמרו לי מה שמי מה אומר אליהם משולם המכונה זימל סופר מפאלן בשנת ת.ו.ב.ל.נ.ה. (בציון נקודה מעל כל אות) בשמחות וגיל תבואינה בהיכל מלך, תצג לפרט קטן. Translation: "If one asks to my name my answer is Meshulam the so-called Simmel scribe from Polna, in the year "With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought. They shall enter into the king's palace" [Ps. 46:15]", the year [5]493. Emphasis of the Hebrew letters ת ו ב ל נ ה indicating also to the year [5]493 (1733). 3. The signature of the scribe is given also in the rhymed preface at the upper part of the page, which includes more information on his work: In the upper right section is name ז.י.מ.ל. (for Simmel) arranged in horizontal and vertical acrostic. In this section Simmel also refers to the previous page Mi Sheberach for Charles VI from 1732 (ÖNB Cod. Hebr. 223), which he presumably submitted together with this Dedication page to the Emperor; both pages proved to have been existed already before 1847 in the court library (Hofbibliothek). The text: זמירות ושירים אנעים בגרוני. יהבי אשליך על קוני. מענה ישים בפי ובלשוני. לדבר דבר באזני אדוני/ יאר פניו אתנו סלה. מלכותו יאריך לשם ולתהלה. זרעו לצדקה וקצרו לחמלה. להצילו מפחד ומרעש ותקלה/ מי אנכי בערך שפלה. זלעפה אחזתני רתת וחלחלה. לדבר נגד מלכים בבהלה. ירביני ענותנותו במקום הגדולה/ להראות מעשה ידי זאת ואחרת. מי שבירך שכתבתי בשנה עוברת. ציירתי דו פרצופים בגולת וכותרת. טבעם מור/ ולבונה מקוטרת. וגם האחרון יהיה לכבוד מלכות לגאון ולתפארת. כסאו יכון לעד בחסד ואמת לא נעדרת. Transliteration: "I want to sing songs. I hope for the help of God. He will give answers in my mouth, to say things to my Lord. His kingdom will last long and with glory. His descendants for mercy and he should be saved from fear and bad happenings. Who am I, who becomes lower. I am full of fear to speak to kings. He will give me modesty at the place of greatness. To show my hands’ work, this and the other: Mi Sheberach (May He bless), which I wrote last year. I painted two portraits in the most important place. Their natures are like myrrh and incense that are burning in fire. And also the last will stand for the kingdom and the greatness. His throne will last forever in grace and the truth will not lack." In the upper left section is the acrostic ס.ו.פ.ר. (scribe): סיחי אשפוך לפניך צורי/ וינצל משוד ואף וחרי/ פצחי כלוט ונכאות וצרי/ רחש לבי למלך מאמרי Transliteration: "I will pray to G-d for my king". In the section below these, is the horizontal and vertical acrostic name of the place פ.א.ל.ן. (Polna). In this section Simmel explains that he himself collected the verses from Proverbs and Psalms with translations into Latin and German to pray for the welfare of the king and to his wife The text: פאר וכבוד למלך מכתבי קודש. אחבר מילין כזה ראה וחדש. להרבות ברכות וצלחות מלא גודש. נזרו וגדולתו ונעוריו כנשר יתחדש./ אמרתי אלך ואלקט ליקוטי שושנים. פסוקי ספר משלי שלמה תחכמונים. חוטים משולשים מפז ואדרכמונים. משפט המלך לובש צדקה כשריונים./ לשון זהורית לטיין ואשכנז סדורים. לפרסם גדולת המלך ולהתפלל בשלומו ליוצר הרים לחייהו ולקיימהו לדור דורים להצילו מכף אויביו כדור ראש הגבורים./ נשמתו יזהיר זהירים גופו יהי בריא כחו יהי חזק אבריו יהיו נשמרים. ולצלע הנכונה אהובה והנאמנה עליזה והצליחה יצו ה' אתה את הברכה כאם הבנים/ שמחה. ויזכו לראות בנים ובני בנים בהדורים והאומר ואשא אתכם על כנפי נשרים ישמח לבם ולב כל יועציו ושרים. וכלב כאחד לשמו מפארים.
Scribal Notes
A signature of a scribe Samuel Moses of Polna Signed in a different shade of ink and script in the last row of the lower section of the left column is a "colophon" of a scribe, in German: Samuel Moyses Hebraischer pergament Schreiber ("Samuel Moses Hebrew parchment scribe"). Samuel Moses' longer signature appears in Simmel's Mi SheBerach for Charles VI (Cod. Hebr. 223), as follows: Samuel Moyses Jud und Haebreisch / auch Pargam Schreiber auß Polna in b(öhmen). ("Samuel Moses a Jew and a Hebrew parchment scribe from Polna in Bohemia").
Trade Mark
Decoration Program

The main decoration of this sheet is the large silver and golden letters of the names of the Emperor and the Empress in the center of the page, written within illustrative panels done in sepia.

The Emperor's name CAROLUS is in silver capitalis and the Hebrew equivalent קאראלוס is in gold- display script. Each pair of the silver and gold letters are interwined into each other and framed within rectangular panel (56 x38 mm). Accordingly, but in exchange of colours - gold for the Latin capitalis and silver for the Hebrew display script, is the arrangement for the name ELISABETHA אליזאבעטהא. Here the panels are smaller (39 x25 mm). 

The sepia background of the letter-panels of CAROLUS are illustrated from right to left with: a medallion raised by the two putti with palm of victory, palm trees and stylized castle architecture; bouquets of flowers, town architecture, a hunting scene; two lions and a goose; ornamental pattern; an angel’s bust, town architecture and church, squirrels; fountain of life with two flying pigeons; parrot, exotic bird and fox hunt. 

The sepia background of the letter-panels for ELISABETHA are illustrated from right to left with: butterfly, owl, lamb; noble couple; decorative vase; putto; exotic birds; resting ox, town architecture, a bear attacked by three dogs; flower bouquet, deer hunting; imperial eagle with scepter and orb; phoenix? on a tree; squirrel, fox and deer.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
Main Surveys & Excavations
A.Kraft & S.Deutsch, Die handscriftlischen hebräischen Werke der k. k. Hofbibliothek zu Wien: Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Palatinae Vindobonensis, Pars II, Codices Hebraici, Wien 1851, p. 90 (No. 195). V.B. Mann & R.I. Cohen (eds.), From Court Jews to the Rothschilds: Art, Patronage and Power: 1600-1800. , Published in conjunction with the exhibition: From court Jews to the Rothschilds: art, patronage and power, 1600-1800, held at the Jewish Museum, New York, 8 September 1996 - 17 January 1997, Munich-New York 1996, pp. 112f., 150 (Cat. No. 46). F. Müller, Die hebräischen Handschriften der k.k. Hofbibliothek, verzeichnet v. Friedrich Müller (Nachtrag zu den gedruckten Katalogen von Krafft und Goldenstein) (= ÖNB Cod. ser. n. 2163). E. Roth, Interessante hebräische Handschriften der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Cod. hebr. 221-224), biblos 8 (1959), 83-87. A. Z. Schwatz, Die hebräischen Handschriften der Nationalbibliothek in Wien, Leipzig 1925, p. 238 (No. 207). K. Schubert, ed., Das Österreichische Jüdische Museum, Eisenstadt 1988, p. 86 (Nr. A 55). U. Schubert, Jdische Buchkunst 2, Graz 1992, 86-87, 187.
Karl-Georg Pfändtner Michal Sternthal |
Author of description
Karl-Georg Pfändtner Michal Sternthal Yaffa Levy | 2009
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Michal Sternthal |
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