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Obj. ID: 37188
Jewish printed books
  Arba'ah ve-Esrim, Basel, 1536

© Gross Family Collection, Photographer: Unknown,

This text was prepared by William Gross:

Chained bindings were often used in the monastic libraries of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. These bindings both protected the books and manuscripts from theft and maintained the books in their proper place on the shelves. The chained-book phenomenon has long since passed from usage and such bindings are rare. To find a Hebrew Bible from the first century of printing with its original chain binding is an extraordinary rarity and perhaps a unique occurrence.
This Bible was printed in Basel in 1536, being the second edition after the first one appeared in 1534. It is the first appearance of Sebastian Münster 's famed Bible edition presented entirely in Hebrew. The publisher Hieronymus Froben and, before him, his father Johannes, who was the first printer of Hebrew books in Switzerland, published quite a number of Hebrew books in conjunction with this great Christian humanist Hebraist. The Hebraists thought that in order to really know the Bible it was necessary to study it in its original language, and that it was not wise to depend on the translations prepared by scholars with personal interests. While these Hebrew books were thus intended primarily for a Christian Hebraist audience, the current Tanach was also intended for Jews, as demonstrated by its list of haftarot for the entire year “as per the Sephardic customs and other Jews”. The printing of Hebrew books continued through three generations of the Froben family.
Sebastian Münster (20 January 1488 – 26 May 1552), in addition to being a Hebraist, was also a cartographer and cosmographer. His work, the Cosmographia from 1544, was the earliest German description of the world.
The printer Hieronymus Froben was the son of Johannes Froben, founder of the Froben printing-house, the most significant supplier of Hebrew books in Basle. Johannes published his first Hebrew title in 1516, and continued to publish as many as 250 titles, among them Hebrew/Latin books of the Bible and grammatical works. Hieronymus inherited his father's press upon the latter's death in 1527, and passed it on to his own sons, Ambrosius and Aurelius, when he died in 1564.
Editor: Sebastian Muenster, 1488 - 1552

4 image(s)

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Name/Title
Arba'ah ve-Esrim | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1536
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Paper, Ink, Letterpress, Woodcut, Signature, Stamped
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
28.7 cm
Length
Width
21.5 cm
Depth
9 cm
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Extant
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
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
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
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
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Bibliography
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Page
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Computer Reconstruction
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Negative/Photo. No.