Auction 92 Part 1 Rare and Important Items

Lot 112

Decorated Parchment Ketubah – Rome, 1837

Opening: $20,000
Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000
Sold for: $25,000
Including buyer's premium

Ketubah recording the marriage of the groom Shabbetai son of Avraham Zevi to the bride Devorah daughter of Eliezer Di Castro. Rome, 3rd Adar I 1837.
Ink and paint on parchment.
Elaborate, elegant ketubah, framed in a wide, rectangular border, with symmetric vegetal and geometric patterns. Decorative lower edge, typical of Roman ketubot.
The text of the ketubah is scribed in the center, in black ink, with verses of blessing inscribed above it in red ink; the word "BeRevii" is written within a cartouche, in ornamented letters. The ketubah also mentions a civil document drawn up in front of a notary. The text of the ketubah is followed by witnesses' signatures: Yaakov Yosef son of Shlomo Fasano, Mahalalel son of Yosef Baruch HaKohen.
The upper border of the ketubah contains an illustration of an elderly man reaching out to a younger man holding a staff or shepherd's crook. Illustrations depicting human figures in ketubot were usually allegorical scenes or biblical scenes related to the names of the groom or bride; in the present case, there appears to be no direct relation between the illustration and the names of the groom and bride, yet the illustration may be depicting Avraham and Eliezer, in reference to the names of the fathers of the groom and bride.
For other ketubot of the Di Castro family, see: The René Braginsky collection, ketubah no. 44 (Rome, 1763); State Archives of Rome, Ms. 264/6 (Rome, 1879); and Antique Roman Ketubot (2019).
For other ketubot from Rome, see: Shalom Sabar, Ketubbah (1990), pp. 146-157.

87X50.5 cm. Minor creases and stains. Losses to upper corners and to margins.

Esther Scrolls and Parchment Manuscripts