New York art gallery displays rare 14th century Haggadah
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New York art gallery displays rare 14th century Haggadah

People had the chance to view a rare treasure, as the Lombard Haggadah, created in Milan in the late 14th century, went on display in the Big Apple

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

The Lombard Haggadah
The Lombard Haggadah

New York art gallery displays rare 14th century Haggadah

For a few brief days in mid-April, New Yorkers had the chance to view — and, perhaps, to buy — a rare treasure. It was what has become known as the Lombard Haggadah, created in Milan in the late 14th century and containing 75 delicately wrought watercolour paintings.

The Haggadah, a jewel of the mediaeval world, was last on public display at the Paris World’s Fair in 1900, when it belonged to a French family. It was then sold in 1927 in London to the noted collector of Hebrew manuscripts, Zalman Schocken, and has remained in private hands ever since. It survives as the earliest stand-alone Italian Haggadah. Of the greatest rarity, it is one of three illustrated medieval Haggadot still privately owned.

The Haggadah was on show at Les Enluminures Gallery in New York, which was founded more than 25 years ago by Dr Sandra Hindman. She said: “”I am honoured to be involved in a project of such magnitude prompted by this rare and stunning work of art. Hebrew manuscript illumination is a field that has always held great interest and attraction for me. I confess to being thoroughly enchanted by the present manuscript”.

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