publisher colophon

29. Seal of Isaac Son of Jacob

*Yitzḥak bar Yaakob, Tsadi-Bet-Yod

*Isaac Son of Jacob, A Righteous Man Will Live by His Faith

Dimensions: 20 mm. Impression.

Location: Drôme, Archives, 1C.

Bibliography: Bedos, 1980b, No. 2, 23 (14).

This interesting small hexagonal seal was only recently discovered by Martin de Framond in the parish archives of Dieulefit, a small town in southeastern France in the Department of Drôme. Drôme, formed in part from old Provence, was an important center of Jewish settlement in the medieval period. Nothing is known of the background of this seal impression, cast in red wax on a piece of paper, whose matrix has probably long since disappeared. The pious contraction referring to the father is the same as that used on the seal of David son of Samuel/Mielet of the Portal, likewise from the Midi (see No. 21). We are indebted for the information regarding this item to Brigitte Bedos. The impression not only is unique in its odd shape but also in that it is one of the few southern French seals to be lettered solely in Hebrew.

The inscription begins with a six-pointed star. The Hebrew letters are distributed in the six outer sides formed by the hexagonal shape, boxed in by parallel rows of lines. Within is an animal, which seems to be a ram, perhaps a reference to the ram substituted for Isaac in the akedah (Abraham’s binding of Isaac). According to Brigitte Bedos, the seal is early fourteenth century in style.

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