25. Seal of Masip Crechet
*Matziẏp Krey-shent (or Krey-cent)
S. MASIP CRECHET
Bibliography: Longpérier, 1859, 1872a; Levy, 1861; Blumenkranz, 1965–66, No. 2, 21 (3); Bedos, 1980b, No. 2, 21 (3).
The Hebrew legend on this seal appears on one face and the vernacular on the other. Both legends circle round the same figures, a large crescent moon and a star. As Longpérier points out, the exact translation of the Hebrew name ought to be Créchent (equally, Crescent), but the seal owner probably used the form that would sound most familiar to those Christians with whom he was doing business. Longpérier adds that a Jew named Crescence is mentioned in a document of 1223 from Champagne, and his name must have been similar to this Créchent or Crescent. The seal was found in the suburbs of Toulouse; by style Longpérier dates it from the twelfth century, while Brigitte Bedos believes it came from the beginning of the thirteenth.
As we have seen, most of these southern French personal seal owners used symbols on their seals that would correspond with their names. Longpérier sees such a relation between the crescent moon and the name Créchent or Crescent: the crescent moon, especially when associated with a star, was a conventional Jewish symbol throughout the medieval period. It should also be noted that the name Masip (and its variant spellings) is a typical name in the records of the Perpignan and Montpellier Jewish communities of the time. As noted in No. 20, Jean Regné states that a Bonmacip was one of the sons of Kalonymos bar Todros (II) of Narbonne.