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Obj. ID: 41469
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Atzei Hayim (Torah scroll staves), Piedmont, ca. 1450

© Gross Family Collection, Photographer: Bar Hama, Ardon, -

The following description was prepared by William Gross:

The Torah scroll is rolled on two wooden staves called atzei chaim, the "tree of life." These particular Torah staves, or "atzei chaim," are among the oldest surviving Jewish ritual objects. For a Jewish wooden object to survive from more than five hundred years ago is little short of miraculous. Carved from boxwood, these atzei chaim are decorated in the late French Gothic style. Both the material and the design are consistent with the family's contemporary origins in the town of Trevoux from which there were two expulsions of the Jews in the first half of the fifteenth century.

In Italy, the family chose the name "Trabot" that is recorded in the carved inscription on these atzei chaim. The family contributed many scholars and rabbis to the history of Italian Jewry in the 16th and 17th centuries. Natanel Trabot, who is specifically recorded here, was a known rabbi, scribe and merchant in Piedmont during the 15th century. The first Hebrew book printed with approbations printed in Naples in 1475 lists Natanel with other approving rabbis. There are five manuscripts existing in which Natanel is listed as either the scribe or the "minaked." Documents of commercial transactions in which he is recorded have been discovered by Professor Ottolenghi in Italy.

It is likely that in the case of the atzei chaim, Natanel Trabot wrote a Torah scroll that he dedicated to his synagogue. since the Sefer Torah is not signed, his donation was recorded on the atzei chaim, a custom which is followed to this day for the donators of Torah scrolls.

Inscription: NATANEL TRABOT, SON OF OUR TEACHER THE RABBI REB LEVI

15 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Atzei Hayim (Torah scroll staves) | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
ca. 1450
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Wood, Carved, Turned, Stained
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 9.5 cm, Diameter: 5 cn
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.