Letter: ENA NS I.56

Letter ENA NS I.56


Input date

In PGP since 2017


"The first document is a letter (lacking, however, a few lines at the end) that was sent by an anonymous merchant to R. David Ibn Zamiro (alias Zimra).It seems that the writer was the fattore (commercial agent) of the addressee R. David Ibn Abi Zimra (1480–1573), who resided in Cairo for more than forty years, before he moved to Jerusalem in 1553. He is considered to have been the greatest rabbinical authority among the Spanish Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. In his letter, the writer describes the difficulties, which he had in marketing the feathers: על ענין הנוצה, ואע"פ שכבר הודעתי [ל]מעל[תך] עם ר' שמואל כיחלאדו, כי לפניו פתחתי אותה הראיתי אותה לכמה סוחרים, ולא מצאנו שום מכירה [...] הראיתי הנוצה לסוחרים על מאמר מתיו, ולא רצו לעשות שום דבר. 'Concerning the feathers, although I already informed you know through R. Samuel Kichlado that I opened [the parcel] in his presence, I showed them [i.e. the feathers] to some merchants. As we did not find [an opportunity] for selling [them], [...] I showed the feathers to the merchants following the advice of Matteo (Matthew), but they were not inclined to do anything.' The Italian merchants, with whom he negotiated without success, apparently were not interested in buying the feathers. And of Matteo, the one mentioned by name here, we know that at that time he was in jail in Egypt." Avraham David, Jewish Involvement in Ostrich Feathers Trade, 86–87. In addition to Matteo, a Christian merchant named Piero del [?] is discussed.

ENA NS I.56 1



ENA NS I.56 2

Image Permissions Statement
  • ENA NS I.56: Images provided by the Jewish Theological Seminary Library (JTSL) CC-Zero / Public Domain