The People in the Books: Hebraica and Judaica Manuscripts from Columbia University Libraries

Life-Cycle > Marriage: Ketubah Venezia


Ketubah Venezia.
Manuscript in Aramaic and Hebrew on parchment.
Venice, 1692.
MS X893 K519997
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Although extravagant decoration was certainly not a pre-requisite for the ketubbah, beginning around the 17th century many communities in western Europe, especially Italy, chose to decorate their marriage contracts extensively.  The document was often held up toward the audience during its recitation, and the elaborateness of decoration was a clear indication of social status.  This detailed ketubbah includes micrographic writing on the stones between the arches surrounding the main text.

The ketubbah celebrates the marriage of Raḥel, the daughter of David Ḥayyim, and Ya'akov, the son of Shemu'el, on August 27, 1692.


Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Butler Library, 6th Fl. East / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-5153 /