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Bodice for great dress
Rabat, Morocco
Early 20th century
Velvet, gold and metal thread embroidery
L: 46, W: 48 cm
Gift of Baroness Alix de Rothschild, Paris
Accession number: B72.0729

This bodice would be worn under a vest as an important part of the ceremonial costume and wedding dress of an urban Jewish woman in Morocco. It is made of dark red-colored velvet, decorated with gold-thread embroidery couched on leather cutouts. The floral patterns are organized around a central motif of tendrils encircling a form of palmette. Gold-thread embroidery was done by Jewish craftsmen, both men and women. It was a traditional craft believed to have been brought to Morocco by Jews expelled from Spain.

From the Israel Museum publications:
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, USA, 2004
Müller-Lancet, Aviva, ed., Jewish Life in Morocco, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1973, 1983, Hebrew; French edition: 1986.

Highlights of the Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Collections Online, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

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

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