Sotheby's - New York

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

The Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor: A Magnificent Illuminated Ashkenazic Prayer Book
Sale #N10705

On October 19, Sotheby’s New York will offer the magnificent Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor, one of the earliest known illustrated Hebrew prayerbooks. A scribal masterpiece produced in Southern Germany during the late 13th - early 14th century, this exceedingly rare manuscript attests to the vibrancy of the medieval Jewish community in Europe. Written in an elegant Hebrew script by a Jewish scribe-artist named Abraham, the manuscript is decorated throughout and includes important illustrations depicting the customs and dress of medieval Jewry. Over the centuries, the Luzzatto mahzor found new homes in Alsace, the Lake Constance region, Northern Italy, and France. At each step of the volume’s journey, its new owners added notes in the margins, revealing contemporary local customs and practices, as well as the deeply personal histories of the communities that cherished it. The mahzor boasts an impeccable provenance and is named after its illustrious owner, Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865), a distinguished Italian Jewish scholar and renowned book collector. In 1870, this important manuscript was purchased by the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) – the first modern international Jewish organization – founded in 1860 in Paris. Proceeds of the sale will benefit the Alliance Israélite Universelle and its mission to further Jewish education.

The Luzzatto High Holiday Mahzor is undoubtedly the most important medieval illustrated Hebrew prayerbook to come to market in a century. 


Wed, Oct 13th 10am - 5pm
Thu, Oct 14th 10am - 5pm
Fri, Oct 15th 10am - 5pm
Sun, Oct 17th 1pm - 5pm
Mon, Oct 18th 10am - 5pm

Sotheby's - New York
1334 York Avenue

New York, NY

40.7662984, -73.9537155