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5

A SUMPTUOUS WEDDING ROBE FOR A GROOM, BOMBAY, 1853

Estimate:

2,000

to
- 4,000 USD

A SUMPTUOUS WEDDING ROBE FOR A GROOM, BOMBAY, 1853

A SUMPTUOUS WEDDING ROBE FOR A GROOM, BOMBAY, 1853

Estimate:

2,000

to
- 4,000 USD

Lot sold:

50,400

USD

A SUMPTUOUS WEDDING ROBE FOR A GROOM, BOMBAY, 1853


Brocaded silk, trimmed with gilt metal threads and braid, lined with cotton (length: 54 in.; 1370 mm).  


This magnificent robe was created for Ezekiel ben Joshua Gubbay (1824-1896) upon his marriage to Aziza Sassoon (1839-1897) on Monday, 8 Shevat 5613 (January 17, 1853). Ezekiel was born in Baghdad and immigrated in 1842 to Bombay, where he worked for the Sassoon firm. In 1843, he became one of the first Baghdadi Jews to trade in Shanghai. He later developed a reputation as a deeply philanthropic man and a distinguished scholar. Ezekiel and Aziza, the eldest daughter of Sir Albert David Sassoon, had several prominent children, including the legendary Flora.


For many decades after their arrival in India, the Baghdadi Jews maintained the style of dress fashionable in their native Iraq. This richly-colored robe, lavishly woven with golden thread, would have made for a resplendent wedding outfit. A note accompanying the robe states that Ezekiel would always lend it to grooms who could not afford one themselves.


Literature

Orpa Slapak, “Dress: Tradition and Innovation,” in Orpa Slapak (ed.), The Jews of India: A Story of Three Communities (Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, 1995), 117-142, at pp. 138-142.

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