Ashkenazi Haggadah

Add. MS 14762 - British Library (London, United Kingdom)

Alternate Titles:

Londoner Haggada

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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Londoner Haggada

Type
Extent / Format

98 pages / 38.0 x 26.0 cm

Origin
Date
Mid 15th century
Style
Genre
Language
Artist / School

Joel Ben Simeon called Feibusch Ashkenazi
A commentary attributed to Eleazar Ben Judah of Worms

Illustrations

98 Illustrations

Short description

The gorgeous Ashkenazi Haggadah, which is stored today in the British Library in London, is an outstanding Hebrew work of art. The manuscript originated around in the mid-15th century, probably in Ulm. A special feature thereof is that the names of the artist – Joel Ben Simeon, called Feibusch – and the scribe – Meir Jaffe – are known. Feibusch, the miniaturist of the wonderful illustrations and book decoration, immortalized himself in the colophon. The precious and diverse furnishings of the manuscript make the Ashkenazi Haggadah a special piece of Jewish culture and give a glimpse into the history of the rite of Passover.

Facsimile editions available

Description

Ashkenazi Haggadah

The gorgeous Ashkenazi Haggadah, which is stored today in the British Library in London, is an outstanding Hebrew work of art. The manuscript originated around in the mid-15th century, probably in Ulm. A special feature thereof is that the names of the artist – Joel Ben Simeon, called Feibusch – and the scribe – Meir Jaffe – are known. Feibusch, the miniaturist of the wonderful illustrations and book decoration, immortalized himself in the colophon. The precious and diverse furnishings of the manuscript make the Ashkenazi Haggadah a special piece of Jewish culture and give a glimpse into the history of the rite of Passover.

Prayers and Hymns of the Passover Feast

The prayers, songs, religious texts, and other elements of the eve of Passover were spectacularly recorded in the Ashkenazi Haggadah. In this way, the great meaning of the Passover festival can find expression. The Ashkenazi Haggadah, originating around the mid-15th century in Germany, follows the German Passover Ritual.

The Wonderful Pictorial Décor

The British Library’s Haggadah with the shelf mark MS 14762 of the British Library presents itself as a particularly precious specimen of this type of manuscript on its 98 pages measuring 38 x 26 cm. The pictorial décor of the manuscript consists of 19 miniatures of gold and silver in the frames, 24 lavishly ornamented initials and word fields, numerous other colorfully-designed initials, and occasional florally ornamented borders. Additionally on fol. 17, wonderful medallions with depictions of the ten plagues accompany the text.

The Artist’s Signature

This wonderfully vivid, varied design of the manuscript with animals, people, ornaments, and other decorative accessories is the work of the artist Joel Ben Simeon aka Feibusch. He names himself in the colophon on fol. 48v, along with the first owner of the manuscript, a certain R. Jacob Matthias. Additionally, the name of the scribe, Meir Jaffe is known. Alongside the typical components, the Haggadah also contains an unusual text, a commentary by Eleazar Ben Judah of Worms.

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