Mahzor for Rosh Ha-Shana and Yom Kippur according to the Catalonian Rite
Manuscript on parchment. Catalonia, Spain, ca. 1280. 154 fols., 195x155 mm. Sefardi semi-cursive script. Incipits in Sefardi square script.
The manuscript is ornamented with micrographic drawings and incipit panels with letters in gold against a background in purple and blue. The finials of the letter 'lamed' are in the form of foliage and birds. The first seven leaves are full-page micrographic panels, depicting scenes of hunting and its prey, the candelabrum and the vessels of the Temple, all in the text of the Psalms and 'David's Last Words' (II Samuel: 23). Micrographic decorations are generally not found in prayer books.
The text includes liturgical hymns by Spanish Jewish poets. Most of the piyyutim conform to the rites of prayer that have been preserved by Jewish communities which originated in the city of Barcelona or the region of Catalonia; some of them conform to the rite prevalent in the Kingdom of Aragon before the unification of Spain, which at that time ruled Barcelona and Catalonia.
Donated by Mr. Ludwig Jesselson, 1986.
Avrin, Leila, "The Mocatta Haggadah & Other Works by the Master of the Catalan Mahzor," Hebrew Studies: Papers Presented at a Colloquium on Resources for Hebraica in Europe, British Library Occasional Papers 13, London, 1991, 140-141