300-year-old haggadah expected to fetch £150,000 at auction

By Sandy Rashty, November 19, 2013
The 1726 haggadah is expected to fetch up to £150,000

The 1726 haggadah is expected to fetch up to £150,000

An eighteenth century Hebrew manuscript in expected to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000 when it goes on auction on Friday.

The 1726 haggadah was discovered by an auctioneer at a Jewish home in north Manchester, inside a large Osem cardboard box that originally contained kosher food.

The 20-page text was brought to the UK by a Belgium-Jewish family fleeing the Nazis in 1940. The daughter, who died in 2007, passed it to her niece who had it valued by auctioneer Bill Forrest.

Mr Forrest, of Adam Partridge Auctioneers, confirmed that private collectors of Judaica, national libraries and “a couple” of large Jewish organisations had expressed interest in the manuscript.

“Hopefully it will go to a Jewish institution in Europe or the United States,” he said. “Then it will remain in public view.”

The haggadah, illustrated by renowned Vienna Court scribe Aaron Shreiber Herlingen, was discovered alongside 10 late 19th-century Jewish prayer books, which will also be auctioned.

Last year, a Herlingen haggadah was sold for almost £500,000. This led to widely-circulated rumours that the Manchester haggadah could sell for a similar sum. But Mr Forrest said: “That haggadah was much larger and had more illustrations than this one.”

Last updated: 7:15pm, November 19 2013