Witnesses: Jacob Attias and Daniel Alvares Pereira (d. 1782).
This rare ketubbah commemorates a wedding held in the small but prominent Jewish community of Bayonne, located in southwestern France. The community was founded by converso Jews who fled from the Inquisition early in the sixteenth century but were not officially permitted to practice their Judaism openly until 1723. Only ten decorated ketubbot created in Bayonne before 1800 are known, and the present document is the fourth oldest.
The artistic design of this ketubbah reflects that found in other decorated marriage contracts from France: floral motifs and diverse artistic patterns were emphasized, while depictions of human figures were avoided. These contracts were created by Jewish folk artists who also produced a variety of other illustrated manuscripts for their communities, such as Esther scrolls and Passover Haggadot.
Henry Léon, Histoire des Juifs de Bayonne (Paris: Armand Durlacher, 1893), 363-364, 402.
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