Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Ofrit Rozenberg Ben-Menachem
Sivlonot belt
17th century
Silver, cast and partly gilt
L: 100.1; W: 5.4 cm
The Feuchtwanger Collection, purchased and donated by Baruch and Ruth Rappaport, Geneva
Accession number: HF 0078 ; 101/023
In Rabbinic literature, sivlonot refers to gifts the groom gave his wife-to-be. Among German Jews, from the 16th century on, sivlonot took the form of belts: the groom sent his bride a belt with a gold buckle; she sent him a belt with a silver buckle. The couple would then wear the belts under the huppah, sometimes attaching them by means of another belt or a chain. Sivlonot belts were often decorated with universal symbols of love, such as two intertwined hands holding a heart, or the portraits of a man and woman.

Shachar, Isaiah, Jewish Tradition in Art: The Feuchtwanger Collection of Judaica, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1981

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir