MOSES BEN MAIMON (1135-1204). Mishneh Torah. Commentaries by Vidal Yom Tov of Tolosa (14th century), Abraham ben David of Posquières (ca. 1125-1198). - KARO, Joseph ben Ephraim (1488-1575). Kesef Mishneh. Edited by Hezekiah ben Isaac (fl. 1574). [Venice: Me'ir Parenzo for Alvise Bragadini, 1574-1576].
14 parts in 4 volumes, 2o (264-271 x 180-197 mm). Text with commentary surround. Bragadini's woodcut triple-crown device on titles, ?Parenzo's woodcut device on title versos; emblematic woodcut at end of preliminary matter in volumes 1, 2 and 4; woodcut diagrams including numerous astronomical diagrams in volume 1 (quires 45-50). (Occasionally severe dampstaining and browning, vol. 1 title restored at gutter, 1:C1 detached, abrasion with loss to two words on 1:17/2r, a few headlines shaved, a few fore-margins in vol. 3 cropped affecting text in third quire, top fore-corners of last 2 leaves in vol. 3 restored with slight loss in penultimate leaf, worming to last few leaves in vols. 1 and 2, last leaf with lower margin strengthened and gutter repaired, vol. 2 title rehinged). Modern calf.
Provenance: contemporary Hebrew inscriptions on titles of volumes 2-4, a few contemporary marginalia (cropped); signatures of censors: Luigi da Bologna, dated July 1590 in vols. 1-2, [illegible name] dated 1595, vol. 4, trace of expurgation on fol. 25/6r in vol. 2; 18th-century inkstamp with initials LF (vol. 4); unidentified consignor, Sotheby's London, 25 April 1977, lot 125.
Seventh edition of Maimonides' great rabbinic code, a brilliant and comprehensive systemization of all Jewish law and doctrine. This edition is the first to contain Joseph Karo's important commentary, the Kesef Mishneh.
Alvise Bragadini was a Christian printer who began printing Hebrew books at Venice in 1550 and immediately entered into conflict with the patrician Marco Antonio Giustiniani, who maintained the only Hebrew press still extant in Venice at that time. Their rivalry drew the attention of the Church and led to the Papal Bull of August 12 1553, ordering the confiscation and destruction of all copies of the Talmud. Hebrew printing ceased in Venice for a decade. When the ban was lifted in 1563, Bragadini recommenced printing, enlisting the aid of the skilled Dalmatian printer Meir Parenzo, who had apprenticed with Daniel Bomberg. The Bragadini and Parenzo families remained associated well into the seventeenth century.
Adams M-169; BM/STC Italian p. 452; Cowley p. 475; Steinschneider 6513.7 (col. 1871-72); Zedner p. 583.