152
152
An Important Decorated Ketubbah from Florence, 1699
Estimation
30 00050 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT
152
An Important Decorated Ketubbah from Florence, 1699
Estimation
30 00050 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Judaica, including a Distinguished Private Collection

|
New York

An Important Decorated Ketubbah from Florence, 1699
Ink on shell gold parchment (24 3/4 x 18 3/4 in.; 629 x 476 mm); written in Italian square script in brown ink on twenty-three long lines; ruled in blind. Upper edge scalloped with ribbon text border colored with pale green wash; concentric circles of text alternating in green and gold grounds, framing uncolored central text panel; the whole surrounded by a rectangular text border with green ground. Minor creasing and cockling; ink flaked and faded in places; gold rubbed; green grounds somewhat faded; small tears and slight soiling in outer edges. Mounted, glazed, and framed; not examined outside of the frame.
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Description

The earliest extant decorated ketubbah from Florence.

Celebrating the wedding of Joshua ben Moses Prato and Seda bat Joshua Balanes in Florence on Wednesday, 3 Adar II 5459 (March 4, 1699).

The seventeenth century witnessed the rise of ketubbah decoration in cities throughout Italy, and the present document is the earliest known example of a decorated marriage contract from Florence. Nearly the entire surface of the parchment is embellished with shell gold and a pale green wash, and concentric circles inscribed with biblical verses and blessings enframe the text.

It was customary in ketubbot from other Italian cities such as Venice and Padua to include a depiction of Jerusalem above the text. This is a direct allusion to the biblical verse which mandates that one should “keep Jerusalem in memory even at [one’s] happiest hour” (Ps. 137:6). In this ketubbah, the same result is achieved by the insertion of the word “Jerusalem,” boldly written in monumental Ashkenazic calligraphy, under the elegantly scalloped upper border.

Important Judaica, including a Distinguished Private Collection

|
New York