Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Ketubba Artistic Traditions
(1,338 words)

The art of decorating the marriage contract (Heb. ketubba) flourished in most of the Jewish communities in the lands of Islam. Whereas in Christian Europe large, richly decorated ketubbot were generally commissioned only by wealthy families, in the Islamic East the phenomenon was much more widespread and encompassed larger segments of Jewish society. The practice seems, in fact, to have emerged in the Islamic realm, and the earliest extant decorated ketubbot are from Egypt and Palestine of the tenth to twelfth centuries. Discovered in the Cairo Geniza, these early examples attest…

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Shalom Sabar, “Ketubba Artistic Traditions”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 27 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0012830>
First published online: 2010

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