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“worthy to be placed among the most beautiful books that the hand of man has produced” – London Times on the Szyk Haggadah

SZYK, ARTHUR. The Haggadah

London: Beaconsfield Press, [1940]

Large 4to.  Printed on vellum.  48 pages printed in color.  Original blue morocco gilt by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, with the original half blue morocco case, also by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, upper joint of case restored. A fine copy.

FIRST EDITION of the greatest Haggadah of the 20th century, finely printed in color on vellum, published in an edition of 250 copies.  The entire edition of the celebrated Szyk Haggadah was printed on vellum.

This is one of a very small number of Szyk’s own copies, out of series and unsigned. An accompanying provenance note states that it descended from Szyk to his heirs until it appeared for sale at Christie’s in New York in 2015.

Szyk (1894-1951), a Polish Jew who left Europe for America in 1940, is the foremost modern artist to work in the style of medieval illuminated manuscripts. His works have been exhibited at libraries and museums throughout the world, and his Haggadah is a centerpiece of many leading institutional collections of the history of the art of the book. Szyk created the work’s watercolor and gouache illuminations between 1934 and 1936 while living in Poland.

The Beaconsfield Press was established in London for the purpose of publishing the lavish and costly book, printed entirely on vellum and finely bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. The 250 copies printed were priced at $500.

The Szyk Haggadah, certainly the most beautiful Haggadah ever printed, is one of the greatest illustrated books of the twentieth century. 

Provenance: Arthur Szyk. This copy is out-of-series and was reserved for Szyk himself. An accompanying family note states, it descended from Szyk to his heirs until it appeared for sale at Christie’s in New York in 2015.

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