AN INDISPENSIBLE GUIDE TO HEBREW LITERATURE: FOLIO FIRST EDITION OF BUXTORF’S LEXICON, 1639-40
BUXTORF, Johannes. Lexicon Chaldaicum, Talmudicum et Rabbinicum. Basel: Ludovici König, 1639-40. Thick folio (measures 10-1/2 by 14-1/2 inches), contemporary full alum-tawed pigskin with elaborately blind-tooled covers, raised bands, tan morocco spine label. $1400.
First edition, with finely engraved additional title page and frontispiece portrait of Buxtorf, front matter decorated with initials, head- and tailpieces. Text in Latin and Hebrew.
"From 1591 to his death in 1629 Buxtorf remained in Basel, and devoted himself with remarkable zeal to the study of Hebrew and rabbinic literature. He received into his house many learned Jews, that he might discuss his difficulties with them, and he was frequently consulted by Jews themselves on matters relating to their ceremonial law. He seems to have well deserved the title which was conferred upon him of 'Master of the Rabbins" (Britannica). One of the principal works of the founder of rabbinical study among Christian scholars, and for many years an indispensable guide to Hebrew literature, the Lexicon Chaldaicum Talmudicum et Rabbinicum was begun by Buxtorf in 1609 and then completed after his death in 1629 by his son, who also prepared the full text for publication in 1639. Buxtorf's lexicon remained unrivaled until 1866, an essential resource for linguistic scholars. Brunet, 1432. Graesse I, 584. Steinschneider 329. Owner signatures. Some neat pencil underlining through text.
Occasional marks and wormtraces, two careful repairs to upper fore-edges; minor age-darkening. An excellent copy in handsome contemporary binding.