Reshima Alef – First List – A catalogue of Hebrew books printed before 1601, London 1920, Abraham Golub, 10 Osborn Street, Whitechapel.

7i Golub_0001This is a 100-year old item for the book collectors. Abraham Golub had his bookshop at 10 Osborn Street, Whitechapel. In 1920 he issued this list of books for sale, edited by Yaakov Meir Zalkind. I have previously written about Yaakov Meir Zalkind, – click here to read about his translation of the Talmud into Yiddish was to be published in 1922.

The list was printed by the Narodiczky Press, and is number 139 in Moshe Sanders list of Narodiczky publications.

But just look at the list below! The prices are in Guineas.  For those old enough to remember, a Guinea was 21 shillings – one pound and one shilling.  One pound in 1920 had the purchasing power of about 45 pounds today (2020)

In the list are:

  • Bomberg editions of the Talmud, priced from 6 Guineas (6 pounds, six shillings) a volume
  • Chidushei HaRashba, on Brochos, Gittin and Chulin, first 1523 edition (Bomberg) for 25 Guineas
  • Sefer HaChinuch, First edition, 1523 for 50 Guineas
  • The first edition of R’ Menachem Recanati’s Perush on the Torah (1523, Bomberg) for 250 Guineas
  • Shulchan Aruch, second edition, for 40 Guineas

… and many more at lower, quite reasonable prices.  I was delighted to see that the edition of Alfasi, printed in Sabbonieta in 1554, which I have in my collection, is priced at 30 Guineas.  If only we could time-travel back and buy some of these seforim!

Here is the entire list, starting with the introduction:

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