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Bidding Information
Lot #    6064
Auction End Date    11/18/2003 12:30:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Cinco Libros de la Ley Divina
Author    [Marranos - Bible - Fine Copy in a Fine Binding]
City    Amsterdam
Publisher    David de Castro Tartas
Publication Date    1691-92
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [2], 436, [4], 128 pp., 8 vo., 142:97 mm., sharp crisp gilded edges. A fine copy bound in contemporary moroccow, tooled in blind and gild, spine in compartments tooled in gild medallions and floral borders, upper and lower sections chipped. Modern red cloth slip case.
   Bible in Spanish with Haphtorot and calendar of Parshiot.

David de Castro Tartas (c. 1625c. 1700), was born in Tartas (southern France) and brother of the martyr Isaac de Castro Tartas, he worked first for Manasseh Ben Israel, but about 1660 set up his own press. Among the earliest works printed by Castro Tartas were a Pentateuch (1666), and an edition of Rashi on the Pentateuch and the Five Scrolls (1664). He produced a fine printing of the Sermoes que pregarao os doctos ingenios do K.K. de Talmud Torah (Amsterdam, 1675), the seven sermons that leading members of the community preached on successive days at the inauguration of the new synagogue in 1675. The latter work was illustrated with eight engravings by Romeyn de Hooghe. Another outstanding product of his press was the Gazeta de Amsterdam (1675), the earliest known Jewish newspaper in Spanish, intended for the Marrano diaspora, and which dealt particularly with mercantile news. He also printed works in Spanish for the use of the Amsterdam Sephardi community. Castro Tartas was actively engaged in the printing trade until 1696. In that year he left the city, selling to Moses b. Abraham Mendes Coutinho all his printing equipment as well as his exclusive rights to produce certain books and left either for Palestine or Hamburg. Associated with Castro Tartas in the business were his brother Jacob and his son-in-law Samuel Teixeira.

Marranos in Amsterdam differed from those in other Protestant countries in that they openly practiced Judaism almost from the moment of their arrival. Thanks to the Marranos, Amsterdam became one of the greatest Jewish centers in the world in the 17th century; it had some of the finest academies and produced some of the greatest Jewish thinkers.

   Kayserling p. 30 (gives date of 1691?); EJ
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Holland:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
Bindings:    Checked
Language:    Spanish
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica