Friday, May 26, 2006

Tobias Foa

Foa Jewish printer mark-1 

 Foa Jewish printer mark-2

Foa Jewish printer mark-3

Gershom Scholem mentions in his article about the origin of the Star of David (published in the Encyclopedia Judaica) that the Foa family was one of the book printers who used the Star of David as printers' sign and says that they incorporated it in their coat of arms.
Gershom Scholem was a professional researcher and had access to rare sources, so rare that it is hard to find them. That's why I was so thrilled to see a photo of a page printed by the head of the Foa family, Tobias Foa, in 1556. But unfortunately there was no photo of the other side of that page where there was (as the Kestenbaum Company auctioneers wrote):
"woodcut printer’s mark containing two rampant lions flanking a palm tree in whose center there is a Star of David, all within a cartouche; surrounding are the words, “A just man will flourish as a palm tree” (Psalms 92:13) and the name “Tobias Foa.”

1 comment:

zeevveez said...

Dr Milstein Rachel, King Solomon's Seal, Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem pp.58 says that the circulation of these books introduced the Star of David symbol into many Jewish houses and thus it became gradually an unmistakable Jewish emblem.