Royal Auction House Of Toms River Sells World’s Smallest Gemara For $7,000 [PHOTOS]

A complete copy of the smallest Gemara ever printed sold at auction on Monday for $7,000 – higher than the $4,000-$6,000 expected top bid. This pocket-sized miniature edition measures only 9cm in size and it was auctioned off by Royal Auction House, a Toms River-based business.
Interestingly, according to the title page this edition was made exclusively in a miniature format in order that it can be easily carried around thereby enabling everyone to know the entire Masechta and the relevant Halachos by heart. A complete copy in a condition such as this is of utmost rarity.
Out of all Masechtos, only Sukkah was published in this miniature format. The reason for the printing of this specific Tractate is unknown, however we can surmise that learning and memorizing Tractate Sukkah in such a way was highly common in Eastern Europe.
As this edition was intended only for the purpose of memorizing the Masechta, no commentaries are present, nor are the Dapim in sync with the typical style of the “Tzuras HaDaf” found in all other editions of the Talmud.
No printing place given, however see Steinschneider (no. 1909) who notes that the initials F.R. printed on the title page are most likely referring to “Fridericus Rex” or King Frederick William I of Prussia, who reigned in Berlin and surrounding areas during the time this edition was printed. He therefore maintains that in all probability it was printed either at Frankfurt or Berlin, both under the reign of King Frederick. Hence the attribution to him seen on title page.
A magnificent copy bound in original leather binding. In five different places leaves were trimmed too close to the text, causing a loss of some text. Interestingly, the original owner attests to this at the end of the book, as we find a charming inscription on last page from the time of the printing. The owner lists the five places where the “artisan” (i.e. bookbinder) had trimmed too close to the text, and adds the words that are missing. A truly unique anecdote which brings us back to the 18th century!
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