Parchment, ink, quadrate writing
In Judaism, one of the legal conditions for getting married is to sign, in the presence of two witnesses, the Ketubah, i.e., a Marriage Contract. It can contain artwork and the heyday of ornate parchments was in early modern Italy among the Sephardic Jews. The marriage contract of Abraham ben Zalman and Leona bat Chaim Falco in 1680 in Verona followed the traditional shape. The text, written in the shape of a double-gate, is rich in Baroque patterns and is framed by Zodiac signs. In the upper third of the oval shield, divided into two fields, there are Levite insignia on one side and falcons on the other, referring to the bride’ surname, Falco. In the six surrounding medallions the visual interpretation of the verses of Psalm 128 can be seen illustrating the stages of human life. The ornate marriage contract was the first object the Jewish Museum acquired. It was purchased from donated money in 1910 from the estate of the Bassevi von Trauenberg family of Prague.