Manuscript Legal Document, Jew and four Christians, Spain 1451


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Item#: 38294 price:$4,500.00

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(JUDAICA). Manuscript Legal Document, in consideration of 280 “sueldos” between “The Hon. Salom-Alazar, Jew” and four Christians. Calatayud, Aragon (Spain): January 29, 1451. Oblong folio (visible portion measures 14 by 10 inches), single vellum leaf, handwritten in brown ink. Matted and framed; entire piece measures 20 by 15 inches. $4500.

Lovely manuscript legal document creating a carriers’ contract between a Jew and four Christians. A very attractively scribed document from the period just prior to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

The name Alazar was a well-known Jewish Catalonian name; the city of Calatayud was one of the principal cities of Jewish culture and commerce in Aragon and in all of Spain. During the reign of Ramon Berenguer IV, the important office of repositarius was occupied by a Jew called Alazar. During Ramon IV’s reign, the union of the Kingdoms of Aragon and Catalonia was effected in 1137. Alazar continued in his prestigious post during the reign of Berenguer’s son, Pedro II (see Y. Baer, A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, II, 57, 72).

In translation, the document reads in part: “Let it be known that we Bartolome don Aguda, Domingo Vilsella, Miguel Vilar and Johan Gonsalves, residents of this locality, known as the City of Calat., all of age, hereby do jointly and individually agree to acknowledge as a true and bona fide mandate made herein by the Hon. Salomó Alazar, Jew, residing in the abovementioned city, and in consideration of the sum of two hundred eight sueldos in good and stable currency of the Kingdom of Aragon, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged by each and all of us, we all together and each individually obligate ourselves honestly and without deception to give, sell, assign or deliver general goods, in the terms hereafter specified, for the period of two years to warehouses and ships… [specifies that the four mandataires obligate themselves to take care of all handling operations, obtain permits from the authorities, pay taxes and fees, etc., pledging their property (chattels) in guarantee]… signed in the City of Calat. On the 29th day of January, 1451, before the witnesses Johan Bayllo M., Alfonso Barranzo Pubrent and Calema Andres Nodriel, Jew, residents in the City of Calat.”

Fine condition, a very handsome framed piece.

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