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The Szyk Haggadah, Premier edition

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The Szyk Haggadah, Premier edition

DELUXE BOX SET. Burlingame, CA, 2008. Luxurious new limited edition of Szyk's Passover Haggadah, including Companion Volume, documentary film, and Portfolio Suite of fine art prints.

Price: $18,000

LIMITED EDITION. The new edition of The Szyk Haggadah from Historicana is a tour de force of fine bookmaking. It takes advantage of every recent advance in photography, color reproduction, papermaking, and typography—and even goes several steps beyond. It also showcases an original translation and commentary that sheds new light on Arthur Szyk's brilliant art and on the Passover celebration as never before.

Szyk, the greatest 20th century illuminator and —in the words of historian Cecil Roth—“the greatest illuminator since the sixteenth century”, considered the Passover Haggadah his masterwork. The 48 miniature paintings of this luxurious fine art book are the modern culmination of medieval tradition of illuminated manuscripts (illustrated Haggadahs, in particular). As with the finest books of the Middle Ages, every page of The Szyk Haggadah—from the illuminated capitals to the calligraphy to the painting itself—is a virtuosic work of artistic accomplishment and deep scholarship.

On the final dedication page of the volume, Szyk writes in French: “I am but a Jew praying in art, and if I have succeeded in any measure, if I have gained the power of reception among the elite of the world, I owe it all to the teachings, traditions, and eternal virtues of my people.”

This is truly one of the most magnificent illuminated books of all times, and certainly the greatest illuminated Haggadah in centuries.

The new edition of The Szyk Haggadah, Premier edition. Executed by Arthur Szyk. Edited by Byron L. Sherwin. Hebrew and English Text. Burlingame, CA: Historicana, 2008. Large quarto, 96pp. with 48 in color. Printed by Epson ink jet on custom finished Bugra paper by Hahnemühle. Exquisite blue full leather binding with inlaid red leather frames, and gilt-panel spine and cover boards tooled in 22K gold; leather in-lays at the head and tail of spine. Cover board edges gilt in rifle pattern; paste paper doublures framed with single gilt fillet in 22K gold. Paste papers hand-painted in blue with red spatters and flecks of 24K gold. Custom clam shell box in full Japanese silk-rayon cloth with quarter leather and tongue and groove spine, and in-laid gilt leather label on front panel. Additional four-flap portfolio covered in red Japanese cloth laid in box to house Portfolio Suite of twelve (12) hand-embossed and numbered prints, suitable for framing. Limited to 85 copies. New condition.

The Premier edition of The Szyk Haggadah, with framed print from Portfolio Suite