Courtesy Shulamit Lapid

The dapper Moses Shapira (c. 1830–1884) kept shop in Jerusalem’s Christian Street, where he sold olivewood crucifixes, dried flowers of the Holy Land, made-to-order olivewood Bible covers inscribed with Bible verses, and other souvenirs to tourists. Select customers were invited into his back room. Here collectors—primarily from European museums and libraries—could purchase rare books and manuscripts. As a reputable supplier of manuscripts, Shapira earned the right to display above his shop door the sign “Correspondent to the British Museum.”