Mahzor (Italian Rite)
c. 14th century, and no later than 1487
ink on parchment, 329 leaves (11.2 x 8 cm.); Italo-Ashkenazi Rabbinic Hebrew characters
This diminutive liturgy is much worn and in some places deteriorated. It includes the Grace after meals, prayers for the Sabbath, Rosh hodesh, Hanukkah, Purim, and Pesah (leaves 120v- ), as well as Pirke Avot and liturgy for the High holidays and Sukkot.
Though not decorated extensively, the manuscript does contain one full page illumination depicting the crossing of the Sea of Reeds, as well as a number of smaller marginal illuminations, among them a dog’s face and a dragon each wearing a fool’s cap, and a figure blowing a ram’s horn for the New Year.
The work is preceded by a pawnbroker’s entry, which is dated 1487.