EXQUISITE 19TH-CENTURY HAND-PAINTED VELLUM BOOK-STYLE TALISMAN BOX CONTAINING A MANUSCRIPT KABBALAH SCROLL
(JUDAICA). Talisman box containing Kabbalah scroll. No place, 19th century. Octavo, 19th-century hand-painted vellum, manuscript Kabbalah scroll. $3500.
Beautiful 19th-century vellum book-style Talisman box, wonderfully hand-painted, containing a manuscript Kabbalah scroll.
The Kabbalah is "an esoteric collection of Jewish mystical doctrines about Yahweh (God) and God's relationship to Creation. Kabbalists believe that the Torah ('Divine Law') contains deeper, hidden truths, which only the spiritually developed person can decipher. The Torah is said to be couched in symbolic language with an inner meaning that reveals a blueprint for the universe, and esoteric knowledge concerning God, the human being and the relationship between them. According to Kabbalists, those people who interpret the Bible literally, only understand half truths or worse, complete falsehoods… By the Middle Ages, especially between 1500 and 1800 C.E., Kabbalah became very popular and 'was widely considered to be the true Jewish theology.' Its popularity waned with the rise of the Age of Enlightenment and its focus on rationality over mysticism. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in Kabbalah in the twenty-first century, by both Jews and non-Jews alike. Jewish mysticism remains an influential stream of Jewish theology today" (New World Encyclopedia). Amulets and talismans have long been central to Judaism and especially mystical Judaism. Evidence that Jews wore such items dates back to the Talmudic sages and rules for their wear quickly emerged. Talismans such as this one serve different functions, from warding off evil to increasing good luck, properties that depend on the Biblical knowledge of the scribe and his careful selection of text, characters, and symbols.
A few spots of soiling and some creasing to scroll, talisman box without original clasps but beautiful and near fine.