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Signature of Moses Baruch Caravaglio

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Signature of Moses Baruch Caravaglio


Baruch Caravaglio, Moses, -1762


This is the signature of Moses Baruch Caravaglio (also Carvaglio), a wealthy Italian coral merchant active in the 18th century. In the 1730s, along with his father Jacob, his brother Abraham, and his uncle Aaron, Moses ran the family trade business in Livorno, Amsterdam and Venice.

In 1743 he opened a coral workshop with fellow Livornese merchant Abraham Lusena in the Jewish neighborhood Sant’Andrea Fuori Porta of Pisa. The company was funded by capital from the Baruch Caravaglio family and became a major producer of coral beads, selling to customers in Livorno and London.

By the 1750s, Moses and his brother Abraham had amassed an impressive fortune. Together they held approximately 14,000 pieces of eight in investments valued at 2,000 pounds in the Bank of England and stocks valued at 1,000 pounds in the English East India Company.

Like many other successful Sephardic merchants of the time, Moses was an active philanthropist, and in 1752 he furnished a Pisan yeshiva with an annual fund of 300 ducats.

The Caravaglio-Lusena plant was passed down to Moses’s nephew Jacob after his death in 1762, and Jacob continued to run the workshop for approximately two more years. In just over 20 years of the firm’s operation, coral worth more than 418,000 pieces of eight was sold.

Moses Baruch Caravaglio's signature appears in Hebrew: "I, Moses, son of the honorable Rabbi Jacob Baruch Caravaglio, may God protect him." His signature is followed by a partially illegible inscription in Spanish: "This book is a legitimate acquisition by Mr. Moses of Jacob Baruch Caravaglio [___?] God and of many years. Amen."


Baruch Caravaglio, Moses, -1762


Francesca Trivellato, The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic Diaspora, Livorno, and Cross-Cultural Trade in the Early Modern Period (Yale University Press, 2009)


National Archives (UK)

Rossana Urbani and Guido Nathan Zazzu, The Jews in Genoa, Volume Two, 1682-1799 (Brill, 1999)

Synagogue Scribes Jewish Genealogy


Trivellato, Francesca. “The Port Jews of Livorno and their Global Networks of Trade in the Early Modern Period.” Jewish Culture and History 7 (2012). 1-2, 31-48.


Digital Image: Washington University in Saint Louis




Hebrew, Spanish






Baruch Caravaglio, Moses, -1762, “Signature of Moses Baruch Caravaglio,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed July 15, 2024, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8258.