Over 260 items of fine antique Judaica will be auctioned by Jonathan Greenstein, president and expert-in-charge at J. Greenstein & Company, Inc., the country’s only auction house specializing in antique Jewish ritual art. An expert in antique Judaica for over 30 years, Jonathan has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Crain’s Business News, The Jewish Journal, The Atlanta Commercial Appeal, The Forward, The Wall Street Journal, and The Motley Fool, as well as on CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, WCBS-TV, NBC News with Chuck Scarborough, and KTLA Television, and he is a frequent guest on Varney and Company on Fox Business News. He has a column about antique Judaica in both Reform Judaism Magazine and Hamodia. He is currently authoring his second book on collecting Jewish ritual art. He is starring in the upcoming reality series Jewish Gilt with Jonathan Greenstein on The Jewish Channel.
Some of the rare pieces in the auction are an exceptional pair of bronze bookends that are shaped as busts of Yiddish writers I.L. Peretz and Shalom Aleichem, a silver Kiddush cup made out of shemirah coins which are coins given by rebbes to their followers, a cigarette box crafted in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, a Kiddush cup made in Poland in the late 19th century and hand-engraved in Safed shortly after, a group of anti-Semitic propaganda posters used during World War II, and two sifrei Torah. In addition, there is a French silver havdalah compendium, a Baal Shem Tov style menorah, and an exceptionally rare folk art Torah Ark. The rarest pieces include a pair of Torah finials made in Charleston, South Carolina c. 1840.
In addition, there is original art by Otto Eichinger, Mane Katz, Boris Schatz, Ahuvah Huvy, Zvi Malnovitzer, Saul Raskin, H. Rothschild, Zvi Raphaeli, Yitzchak Frenel, And Yosl Bergner, Benzoin Weinman, and Menashe Kadishman.
The highlight of the auction is an original signed letter from the Apta Rebbe, Rav Abraham Yehoshua Heschel, author of Ohev Yisrael and founder of the Apt Mezhbizh Zinkover Chassidic dynasty. The Rebbe was born in Zhmigrid, Poland in 1748 and died in Mezhbizh, Ukraine, Russian Empire in 1825. The topic of this important, previously unpublished, letter is an estate left to support needy scholars learning in the Holy Land. He attacks in very sharp words those not wishing to fulfill the wishes of the deceased. He indicates that very dire consequences could befall them. In contrast, he also blesses them for bringing the matter to fruition. An important historical letter showing his attitude for supporting the scholars learning in then Palestine. Estimate $80,000—$120,000.
J. Greenstein & Company, Inc. auctioneers and appraisers of antique Judaica and Jewish Art (New York auctioneer’s license 1144974), is located at 417 Central Avenue in Cedarhurst. Call 516—295—2931 or visit www.jgreenstein.com for more information. v