London: Soncino Press, 1930. Small quarto. xl, (3), 209pp. One of nine copies printed on Roman Vellum, signed by the editor, Cecil Roth, and the illustrator, Albert Rutherston. With fourteen full-page stencilled illustrations, plus seventy small ornaments, all in color. Rutherston's bright depictions of the Passover story, including illustrations of the Jews under Pharaoh, the parting of the Red Sea, the Ten Commandments, and the prophets looking over modern children at play, bring both joy and gravity to the sacred text. Rutherston collaborated with the Curwen Press repeatedly over his career, and this is perhaps one of his most accomplished works, possibly influenced by his years in Palestine while serving in the British Army.
Set in Roman and Italic English type, as well as Hebrew type purchased from Enschedé en Zonen in Holland, the edition embraces the tradition of the pictorial Haggadah while imbuing it with modernity. A Western title page appears at the front of the volume when opened left to right, followed by a publisher's note and an Introduction by Roth describing the historic and spiritual place of the Haggadah. The rest of the volume reads right to left, with Hebrew at the right hand and English translation and glosses at the left. The result is an inviting, impressive edition, beautiful to the layperson and the intitiated.
Bound in full green morocco by Henry T. Wood, Ltd., a progressive London firm whose exceptional giltwork is on display here in the tooled depiction of candles and the Torah at the Western lower cover, ruling to inner and outer edges and spine bands, and spine titles in Hebrew and English. Metal clasps. Some soiling to exterior, inconsequential stain to lower corner of text block, else fine. A remarkable production. Bookplate of Anne and Robert H. Siskin, prominent members of the Jewish community of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who founded the Siskin Steel Company and whose fortunes established the Siskin Children's Institute and Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation. Item #29944
(A Spirit of Joy, p. 28).