55. Seul of Abraham Son of Moses Crudo
Abraham bar Moshe Krudo
Dimensions: 16 mm. Matrix.
Location: private collection.
Bibliography: Cantera y Burgos and Millás Vallicrosa, 1956, No. 254.†
This small seal is in unusually fine condition, with its handle still intact. It was discovered in 1953 during construction in Toro, a small town near Zamora, in Old Castile. In shape it resembles the seals of Todros Halevi and Abraham son of Saadia (see Nos. 50 and 51); it is in the form of a quatrefoil, with the inner square clearly delineated from die four outer wings. On the shield superimposed within this square appears a casde, the coat of arms of Castile, with three articulated towers; the legend in Hebrew runs around within the square. On the left and right wings are shown fleurs-de-lys, so common on the Spanish seals we know; on the top and bottom wings a crescent moon appears, a symbol which also appears on many Jewish medieval seals.
The seal itself is reproduced by Cantera y Burgos and Millás Vallicrosa, gready enlarged, but this writer still has trouble reading the letters. The reason may be, as the authors explain, that the letter hay of the name Moshe (in Hebrew, mem-shin-hay) appears to have been ruined by a blow when the seal was being excavated, while the mem of the same name is cut in an unusual way because of the layout of the letters.
No Abraham Crudo is known from Toro. The Crudo family name is found, however, in Spanish history; Crudo descendants became well known in Tetuan, northern Morocco, and a synagogue in that city was even named after them. It is also possible, given the difficulties of translating Hebrew names, that the actual name may have been Karudo or Querudo.