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© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 1984

The following description was prepared by William Gross:

The bindings of Jewish books are generally quite simple, but there does exist a tradition, probably among the wealthier section of the population, of binding books in special and elegant ways utilizing a variety of material.

Silver book bindings are one of the most elegant objects of Jewish ritual art. The form is generally copied from Catholic and Orthodox Christian tradition where prayer books were often covered with silver bindings in keeping with the other elegant silver pieces used in the prayer service. As in many other areas of life, Jews emulated some customs from what they saw of their Christian neighbors. Since such a binding was an expensive purchase for an individual, such silver pieces are fairly rare. Their appearance is most widespread in Italy, but examples also exist from Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Austria and even the Ottoman Empire.

This particular examples is charactarized by a very deep repousee technique. On both covers appear the same coat of arms, although it is unidentified as to the Jewish family name. The cover is marked with both a city mark and an assayers mark, but apparently without a makers mark. The siddur for everyday prayers bound inside is dated to 1724 and is Gross Family Collection B.1114 that carries the following inscription:

In 1550 Alvise Bragadin established a Hebrew press in Venice, thus ending a brief monopoly in Hebrew printing in Venice enjoyed by Guistiani (after the closing of the Bomberg press). This press continued as one of Venice’s leading Hebrew print-shops, issuing Hebrew titles in the 18th C under several generations of Bragadins (the last of whom was Alvise III). Throughout the years, the output of the Bragadini press was considerable, and covered the gamut of Hebrew works. The press was somewhat unusual, however, in that the Bragadins themselves did not always take an active role in their printing-house, leaving its operation to other printers, sometimes Jewish, and lending their name to other presses as seems to be the case in this publication. The edges of the pages are gilt and ebossed with a complicated gauffering.

The volume is bound in a particularly elegant silver binding, Gross Family Collection 025.001.015.

Inscription: Both sides: crest of the Uziel? family

See also more photos of the book: https://cja.huji.ac.il/browser.php?id=11838&mode=set

Name/Title
Book binding | Unknown
Object
Object Detail
Hallmark
Date
c. 1750
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Material/Technique
Silver, Repousse, Soldered
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 15.7 cm, Width: 19.9 cm, Depth: 3.1 cm Weight: 458 g (w/ book)
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
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
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
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Researcher
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconsdivuction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.