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Obj. ID: 3900
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Book binding, Istanbul, 1818

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

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.

Such a silver book binding was not a regular item of Jewish use in Turkey, or, for that matter, in any of the Eastern communities. Therefore this example is extremely rare. The work and decorative motifs are very much those used on the back of mirror holders produced in Istanbul. The spine carries an inscription for the owner and a date that is very early for silver ritual objects in the Ottoman Empire. There is an additional inscription on one of the covers that is later by almost 80 years.

Inscriptions:

On the spine in three sections: Top: I am privileged to have his work, may he be blessed Middle: I, the young, important and honorable rabbi Mordechai, son of the honorable, Bottom: Asher Biti, may his rock and redeemer protect him, the year 5578 [1818]

Later inscription on both covers: Front: Reuven, may the Lord sustain him and grant him favor Back: Avraham Shalchut, 5656 [1896]

12 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Book binding | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1818
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Material/Technique
Silver, Cut, Repousse, Cast
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 17.5 cm, Width: 12 cm, Depth: 3.8 cm Weight: 288 g
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
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
|
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconsdivuction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.