The National Library of Israel announced today that it has acquired the finest private collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts in the world, the renowned Valmadonna Trust Library, through a private sale arranged by Sotheby’s. The acquisition, made jointly with Archaeology, Books and Judaica collectors Dr. David and Jemima Jeselsohn, will be housed and highlights will go on show in the National Library of Israel’s landmark new building in Jerusalem, designed by award-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, due to open to the public in 2020.
The Valmadonna Trust Library was assembled over a period of more than six decades by visionary collector Jack Lunzer. It comprises a wide-ranging group of more than 10,000 works that chart the spread of Hebrew printing and the global dissemination of Jewish culture.
Among the highlights of the collection are an incunabula of the Pentateuch, printed in Lisbon in 1491; one of only two surviving copies of a Passover Haggadah printed in Prague in 1556; An Ashkenaz siddur printed in Venice on parchment in 1549; The Plantin Polyglot or “King’s Bible,” printed in Antwerp between 1568 and 1573; and more than 550 broadsheets dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries. The acquisition is an important and exciting addition to the NLI’s collection.
Read the Complete Announcement
See Also: Video From Sotheby’s, December 2015