1816 VIENNESE JEWISH PRAYER BOOK AND PSALTER, IN A LOVELY CONTEMPORARY “CATHEDRAL” BINDING
(JUDAICA—LITURGY). Seder Tefillah [Prayer Book]. WITH: Sefer Tehillim [Selections from the Book of Psalms]. Vienna: Georg Holzinger, 1816. Thick 16mo, contemporary full black morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, marbled endpapers, all edges gauffered.
Handsome early 19th-century Vienna prayer book, together with selections from the Book of Psalms, finely bound in contemporary morocco-gilt in the ‘cathedral binding’ style, with gothic arched windows and architectural elements.
By the outset of the 19th century, the Jewish population in Vienna was growing and becoming increasingly prominent throughout Europe. “By 1793 there was a Hebrew printing press in Vienna that soon became the center for Hebrew printing in Central Europe… At the time of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the salons of Jewish hostesses served as entertainment and meeting places for the rulers of Europe. In 1821 nine Jews of Vienna were raised to nobility… especially during the first decades of the 19th century, Vienna became a center of the Haskalah movement” (Encyclopaedia Judaica). “One popular early design motif for publishers’ leather was the ‘cathedral binding,’ so called because of its use of gothic architectural elements. These designs often reflected the book’s ecclesiastical content” (Morris & Levin, The Art of Publisher’s Bookbindings, 1815-1915, 25). Title within typographical border. Text in Hebrew. Owner name stamped in gilt on front cover.
Occasional light foxing, handsome contemporary morocco binding with light expert restoration. A distinguished copy from an important time in Viennese-Jewish history.