Frankfurt am Main, last third of 17th century
Master craftsman: Peter de Montag
© Historisches Museum Frankfurt
Jewish weddings include a number of rituals that even less religious couples often like to carry out. Kalla und chatan (bride and groom) get married under a chuppah, or wedding canopy, which symbolizes the future roof of the couple. And the ketubah, a prenuptial marriage agreement, is read aloud before the guests. It lays down obligations and responsibilities of the groom toward the bride during the marriage, in the case of divorce, and after his death.
Since the Middle Ages it has been common for the bride and groom to give each other presents. In the German-speaking realm it became a tradition among Jewish couples to give each other belts on the eve of the wedding. These often very elaborate belts were worn by the couple only on their wedding day. The wedding belts are made with special metal grommets, which the bride and groom hook together at the end of the ceremony as a sign of their eternal bond. The belt shown here was made in the late seventeenth century by the silversmith Peter de Montag.