18th century Passover Haggadah brings $962,500 to Sotheby's

A magnificent 18th century Passover Haggadah has provided the top lot in Sotheby's annual Important Judaica auction, which was held December 19 in New York.

The manuscript, which was created by Aaron Wolff Herlingen, sold for $962,500, comfortably within its $800,000-1.2m estimate.

Aaron Wolff Herlingen Passover Haggadah
Herlingen's manuscript helps Jews to "tell your son"

The Haggadah is a Jewish text that followers are required to read at the Passover Seder (the feast that marks the beginning of Passover). In doing so, they fulfil the scriptural commandment to "tell your son" of the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt.

The creation of such manuscripts saw a revival in 18th century Western Europe, with Aaron Wolff Herlingen among the finest scribes and artists at the time. He was active from 1719 to 1752, and was appointed scribe to the Imperial Library in Vienna.

There are approximately 40 manuscripts by Herlingen currently known to exist and a dozen more attributed to him. Of these, this work is among the finest, boasting superbly written letters and finely drawn illustrations modelled after the Amsterdam Haggadah of 1695.

Kagan-Maremba Isreal Coin Collection
The Kagan-Maremba coins and medals collection was sold to raise money for the Jewish Museum's acquisition fund

Also selling well was the Kagan-Maremba Israel Coins and Medal Collection, which was sold on behalf of New York's Jewish Museum. The collection is renowned as the most important in the numismatic history of modern Israel.

Formed by businessman and collection Arnold H Kagan, it contains some of the greatest rarities in Israeli numismatics, including the only known Palestine Currency Board 1947 1 mil in proof condition, of which fewer than 10 examples are known in any grade.

The collection sold for $572,500, making a 14.4% increase on its $500,000 high estimate.

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