18th-Century Dutch Silver-Mounted Tanach
It was a gift to me on my Bar Mitzvah. It was actually given to me by my father. I got a pair of roller blades and this, and at the time, I was a lot more excited about the roller blades. But I do know that it was given to my father from one of his cousins, who he considered an uncle, and to him from another family member.
It's a copy of the five books of Moses-- the Torah, the Hebrew Bible. So something that would have been used as a scholarly work. What's interesting about it is it has a silver binding overlaid on brass. And this little cartouche here on the cover would have been so you could have it monogrammed or engraved. This kind of thing would have been given as a gift for a significant occasion. And the book itself-- we'll open it up here-- was printed in Amsterdam, dated 1722. So it's a very early piece. You know, Judaica, sort of Jewish ceremonial items, as you know, are pretty rare. There weren't a lot to begin with, and the fact that it survived all these centuries intact is a pretty amazing thing. The binding looks to be contemporary with the book. It's very elaborately and richly decorated. And if you think... You know, put into the context of history, Amsterdam was a very important center for commerce and trade in the 18th century, and the Jewish population was certainly large and very prominent in the merchant and shipping trades. So it's the kind of thing that would have... certainly have been presented at that time to somebody of means. It has a few condition issues, which impact it a bit. On the front, it's missing a little bit of the decoration in the binding, and it would have had another title page, an engraved and decorated title page.
And that's not the end of the world. What collectors will often do is find a copy of a similar work and get a reproduction of the title page and have it tipped into the book so that it's complete. It's something that is quite rare. And I would think for insurance purposes, you probably want to look in the $8,000 to $10,000 range.
So, a little better than the roller blades in retrospect.
Yeah, I guess so, huh?
Current Appraised Value: $8,000 - $10,000 (Unchanged)
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