Two suites of 12 lithographed plates, the first set of 12 in black-and-white (several a little foxed) and the second duplicate set in fine original coloring. 7,  pp. Small folio, orig. printed blue upper wrapper bound in orig. reddish-orange glazed boards, covers with a gilt border, spine gilt, a.e.g. Munich: J.M. Herrmann, n.d. [but ca. 1825].
This work describes the first synagogue built in Munich; it is the presentation copy given to the royal house of Bavaria, specially bound and with an extra suite of hand-colored plates. This is a rare book and our copy, with the additional set of plates, appears to be absolutely unique.
In 1790 there were only 127 Jews living in Munich. They earned their livelihood as contractors for the army and the royal mint, merchants dealing in luxury wares and livestock, moneylenders, and peddlers. Since there was no legal basis for their residence in Munich, they did not have the right to practice their religion, and every year they had to pay a special tax to enable them to observe Sukkot. In 1805 a “Regulation for Munich Jewry” was issued (it formed the basis for the Bavarian Judenmatrikel of 1813); among other privileges, the Jews were permitted to inherit the right of domicile, to conduct services, and to reside in all parts of the city. During the Napoleonic Wars, the number of Jews was augmented by immigrants, and by 1814 there were 451 Jews in the city. Two years later, the Jewish community was formally organized and in the same year the community was given permission to establish a cemetery. In 1824 a permit was issued for the construction of a synagogue.
The synagogue on the Westenriederstrasse was the first structure initiated by the newly empowered Jewish community. The architect Jean Baptiste Métivier (1781-1857), was royal building inspector who designed many palaces for the nobility as well as furniture. He favored a more classical style for the building and believed it should serve as a model for future synagogues in the Bavarian kingdom. He was supported by the King but his ideas were not carried out as later synagogues were built more in the oriental style.
The Westenriederstrasse synagogue and the St. Emmeram Castle in Regensburg were Métivier’s most important commissions. The synagogue was destroyed by the Nazis in 1938 during Kristallnacht.
A fine deluxe copy of a very uncommon book. From the Wittelsbach library of the dukes and kings of Bavaria.
❧ Pfister II, 2100-2111. Thieme-B., XXIV, 439. Lentner 1892.
Item ID: 5219