[JUDAICA]. Manuscript Illuminated Italian Jewish Marriage Contract Ketubbah. Livorno (Leghorn), 1745.
Sheet of rectangular parchment with a pointed arched top, 872 x 617 mm. Pen and brown ink, watercolor, gold paint and body color. Hebrew Text in Sephardic cursive script, frame by verses in square characters.
Groom: Joseph son of the deceased David Nunes Franco
Bride: Dona Reyna daughter of the deceased Immanuel Cusin
Some of the signatures are faded or undecipherable, witness signature on the right of: Iacob De Bin[iamin] Sacuti Gabai
A double-arched portal with three floral columns frame the text which is divided into two sections, the ketubbah (marriage contract) proper at the right and the conditions (the terms of the contract- Tenaim), at the left, the inscription on the arched top reads: a woman of valour is a crown unto her husband (prov.5:18), below flanking the cartouche is the inscription from proverbs 18:22: whoso findeth a wife findeth a great good, beneath at the corners is the typical Aramaic inscriptions: with a good omen and a good fortune, the outer margins with images of the Four Seasons, two interlaced knots seen in the lower margin, the interlace design symbolizes the union of marriage, a love knot that has no beginning and no end, decorated above with the signs of the zodiac, composition of branches, colourful flowers, fruits and exotic birds, the shield reserved for the family emblems has been left empty, probably the families had no coats of arms, indicating that the decorative frame was made first and the text added later.
Literature: Shalom Sabar, Ketubbah, Jewish Marriage Contracts, New York, 1990; Shalom Sabar, Mazal Tov, Illuminated Jewish Marriage Contracts, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1993; Shalom Sabar and others, A Journey through Jewish Worlds, Highlights from the Braginsky collection, pp.160-223, Amsterdam, 2009; Iris Fishof and others, Italian Ketubbot, Illuminated Jewish Marriage Contracts, Milano, 1984; Claudia J. Nahson, Ketubbot, Marriage Contracts from The Jewish Museum, New York, 1998.