Auction 92 Part 2 Rare and Important Manuscripts and Items of the Gross Family Collection

Elaborate Silver Binding with the Coat of Arms of the Rovigo Family – Italy, 18th Century / Roman Rite Machzor – Venice, 1729

Opening: $18,000
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Sold for: $27,500
Including buyer's premium

Order of year-round prayers following Roman rite. Venice: Bragadin, [1729]. Bound in a high-quality silver binding with the coat of arms of the Rovigo (Rovighi) family.
Paper, wood and leather; silver, repoussé, engraved and soldered, marked several times with the mark of Venice (Lion of St. Mark) and the assayer's mark of Zuanne Premuda, on both boards and spine; spiral silver wire.
Both boards bear identical decorations – rich vegetal patterns incorporating flowers and fruit, rocaille and a Rococo shell. The center of both boards is occupied by a cartouche with the coat of arms of the Rovigo family: a rampant lion holding an ear of corn in its paws, surmounted with a (human faced) crescent moon. The cartouche is topped with a large crown-like ornament. The spine is similarly decorated with vegetal patterns. A pair of (unmarked) decorated clasps.
Gilt edges, gauffered.
The book "Araldica Ebraica in Italia" documents many coats of arms depicting a rampant lion holding an ear of corn in its paws, yet the coat of arms of the Rovigo family is the only one to include a crescent. Although the coat of arms depicted in the book has a crescent at the foot of the lion (and not above it like in the present binding), one can assume that this is still the coat of arms of the Rovigo family, and that the silversmith chose to place the crescent at the top of the cartouche for aesthetic and compositional purposes.
The Rovigo family was a family of merchants who enjoyed good ties with the Dukes of Modena and Mantua in the 16th and 17th centuries; its renowned descendants include R. Avraham Rovigo (1650-1714), a leading Italian kabbalist and a close disciple of R. Moshe Zacuto (the Remez).
For an additional binding with a similar coat of arms, see: CJA, item 5137 (Umberto Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art). For other silver bindings marked by the assayer Zuanne Premuda, see: Sotheby's, 14 December 2011, lot 19; 20 December 2017, lot 17.

Binding: Height: 15.5 cm, width: 9.5 cm, depth: 3 cm. Good condition. Machzor: 276 leaves. Good-fair condition. Many stains. Minor defects. First leaves loose.

Reference: Elivo Giuditta, Araldica Ebraica in Italia, [Torino]: [Societa Italiana di Studi Araldici], 2007, p. 229.
The binding is documented in the Center for Jewish Art (CJA), item 3901.
Provenance: The Gross Family Collection, Tel Aviv, 025.001.015.

Broadsides, Jewish Ceremonial Art, Parchment Manuscripts