The First Mishneh Torah Printed in Amsterdam | 1 |

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Maimonides, Mishneh Torah
Amsterdam: Athias, 1702.

In the middle of the seventeenth century, Joseph Athias established a combined Hebrew-Dutch printing house in Amsterdam, which turned into a success. His son, Immanuel Athias took over the management of the Hebrew printing in 1685. In 1702, he published Maimonides' Mishneh Torah in four volumes. The edition was dedicated to Moses Machado, army purveyor of King William III of England, who gave financial support to the printing house for buying new printing equipment.

At the beginning of the book there are different diagrams providing explanations to the text. For example opposite the title page, the different methods of planting a vineyard are depicted (in connection with the halakhic regulations of mixing species). Athias' printer's device, a mirror-image of his monogram (MJA, that is, Manuel ben Joseph Athias) is placed on the title page.

The small round black stamp on the title page represents the Prussian signatory to the International Copyright Convention. The Convention was ratified on 13 May 1846 between Prussia and Great Britain regarding international copyright.


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Title page with the printer's device and vinyard on the opposite page





Title page engraved


Dedication to Moses Machado








Quick links to other sections of the exhibition

Anglo-Jewry | 1 | 2 | 3 |

Oxford Jewry | 1 | 2 | 3 |

Christian Hebraists | 1 | 2 | 3 |

Telling books – provenance cases | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

The First Mishneh Torah Printed in Amsterdam | 1 |

Jews and Christians: Fruitful Collaborations |1 | 2 |

Preservation of Rare Books: Incunable | 1 |

Censors | 1 | 2 | 3 |