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A Miniature Parchment-Cut Shivviti, [Germany or Austria: 18th century]
Ink and gouache on parchment (4 3/8 x 2 3/4 in.; 110 x 70 mm); written in Ashkenazic square script. Green, yellow, and red borders surrounding central panel; text inscribed in medallion and ribbon surrounded on all sides by foliate decorations and wreaths; dove motif at head. Top-right corner slightly dog-eared; small hole and stain in lefthand margin and two tiny holes in outer edge at left; small portions of delicate parchment-cut work worn. Matted.
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相關資料

This exquisite miniature plaque is known as a shivviti and takes its name from the first word of the biblical verse “I have set [shivviti] God before me always” (Ps. 16:8), which is delicately inscribed in the upper medallion. Plaques such as these were created to serve as visual and textual reminders of the constant presence of the Almighty, and, indeed, God’s four-letter name is inscribed in the ribbon-like banner below the verse. Part of a genre known as Spitzenbilder (lace pictures), this leaf was fashioned using the exacting technique of excising small bits of parchment from a sheet to craft an intricately-ornamented artwork. The diminutive size and shape of the present lot indicate that it was meant to be placed between the leaves of a small prayer book, readily accessible for use before and during the prayer service. This shivviti thus serves as an exquisite witness to the manner in which Jews embellished their devotional texts with beauty and artistry.

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