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The Montefiore Mainz Mahzor
c. 1310-1320
Illuminated manuscript on parchment; codex of 299 leaves, each ruled in ink, pricked, and written in black and red ink in Ashkenazi script
Closed: 4 × 16 × 12 in. (10.2 × 40.6 × 30.5 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by the Brown Foundation Accessions Endowment Fund

Current Location
The Audrey Jones Beck Building
Accession Number
Books & Manuscripts

Rhineland, perhaps c. 1310-20, with the terms ha-kohen (fol. 154r) and ve-ha-levi (fol. 283r), possibly alluding to the owners; known effacement of some of the words (fol. 121 r-v); Italian ownership, by the 16th and 17th centuries (1); Samuel David Luzzato (1800-1900) (2); Estate of Luzzato, 1865; purchased from estate by Solomon Hayyim Halberstam (1832-1900), by 1865 (3); purchased by Moses Montefiore, in memory of his late wife, between 1888/1889-c.? (4); The Judith Lady Montefiore College, Ramsgate (5); sold at New York, Sotheby’s, Important Hebrew Manuscripts from the Montefiore Endowment, 27-28 October 2004, lot 165 (sold for 321,500 USD); placed on deposit at the Jüdisches Museum, Berlin, 2004-2010; purchased by [London, Sam Fogg Ltd], possibly, 2010-2018; purchased by MFAH, 2018 1 Noted by the marginal annotations in Italian added to fol. 178r with words such as “molto ma…”, “…con questo lo faezo (?), fol. 178r 2 He was an Italian philologist, poet, and biblical exegete with his notes on fols. 286r-287r and a printed blue-edged paper spine-label inscribed “43” is perhaps his notation. 3He was a Polish scholar and bibliophile, inscribed with the collector’s “No .238” on the first flyleaf, by 1865. 4It was acquired with 411 other manuscripts from the Halberstam collection between 1888 when Moses Gastor became Principal of the College and 1899 when the majority of the College’s manuscripts were transferred on deposit to the Jews’ College, London and where they remained for more than a century. 5 The College was founded in 1869 by Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) and considered “the most famous English Jew of his time, probably of all time”, The festival prayer book was catalogued by Hirschfeld shortly after their arrival in London. The Jews’ College book label printed in capitals “Montefiore / MS. [‘206’ inserted] Ha[lberstam] No. “238’ inserted also added in pencil to an old paper title-piece.