[HEBREW.] -- HAGGADAH -- Seder Haggadah shel Pesach. Vienna, written and illuminated by Aaron Wolf ben Benjamin Zeev Schreiber Herlingen of Gewitsch, 5485 [i.e. 1725 CE].
270 x 160 mm. HEBREW ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM. Collation: 12 (1r title), 2-64 (6/4 blank). Square Ashkenazic script with nikkud (vowel points) for headings and Hebrew liturgical text, unvocalized semi-cursive script for Yiddish instructions. (Minor food and wine staining.)
ILLUMINATION: pictorial title-border showing two angels holding up a cartouche (its inscription erased), Aaron and Moses, and the falling of manna; ornamental heading in silver and colors, two floral headpieces in colors; 47 SMALL MINIATURES (33 x 55mm and smaller) and 12 LARGE MINIATURES (90 x 110mm and smaller), illustrating the Passover ritual and evening meal, the story according to Exodus, the hymn Echad Mi Yodaya (Who Knows One?) and the cumulative rhyme Chad Gadya, etc. (Some soiling and flaking.)
ORIGINAL VIENNESE BINDING: red-dyed vellum, over pasteboard, elaborately decorated in silver, two borders of repeated small tools, large center- and corner-arabesques composed of volutes, stars, flowers and foliage, spine tooled in compartments, gilt edges, (silver oxidized, joints partly split). Inlaid morocco fall-down-back box. Provenance: bought from Emil Offenbacher in June 1953.
VERY FINE EARLY SIGNED MANUSCRIPT BY AARON WOLF HERLINGEN, who was active as scribe and illustrator for more than thirty years (c.1721-c.1755) and held an official position at the Imperial Library in Vienna from the 1730s onwards. Several dozen productions by this outstanding calligrapher and artist have been recorded, but HIS ILLUMINATED WORK IS OF GREAT RARITY. The Hauck Haggadah is of an exceptionally large size and apparently unrecorded.
LITERATURE: V.B. Mann and R. Cohen, "Melding Worlds: Court Jews and the Art of the Baroque", in From Court Jew to the Rothschilds. Art, Patronage and Power (Munich and New York 1996) pp. 112-119 and passim; E.G.L. Schrijver, "The Manuscript", in Perek Shirah. An eighteenth-century illuminated Hebrew Book of Praise, ed. J. Schonfield (London 1996) pp. 15-38; M. Schmelzer, "Decorated Hebrew Manuscripts of the Eighteenth Century in the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America", in Occident and Orient (Budapest 1988) pp. 331-351; C. Benjamin, The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art (Jerusalem 1987) pp. 260-263; E.M. Naminyi, "The Illumination of Hebrew Manuscripts after the Invention of Printing", in Jewish Art: An Illustrated History, ed. C. Roth (2nd ed. London 1971) pp. 149-162.