Online Auction 42 - Chabad

Special Chabad Auction in Honor of Chag HaGeulah Yud-Tes Kislev – Rosh Hashana of Chassidut - Marking the Date in which Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi was Released from Czarist Imprisonment

Pocket Watch of the Rebbe Rashab

Opening: $3,000
Sold for: $4,250
Including buyer's premium

Pocket watch of Rebbe Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson – the Rebbe Rashab of Lubavitch.
Made by Droz & Perret, St. Imier, Switzerland, after 1874. Open face pocket watch, with crystal case back.
Letter of authenticity enclosed (handwritten note, in English), signed in Hebrew by Rebbetzin Chana Gurary (1899-1991), eldest daughter of Rebbe Rayatz and granddaughter of the Rashab: "I hereby gift… my grandfather's the Rashab's Droz & Perret pocket watch. According to my grandmother he bought it during one of his trips to Germany". Dated – 4th March, 1990. A box which may have also been used by the rebbe or his family is enclosed (the box was given together with the watch, though it is not mentioned in the letter).

"My Timepiece" – The Will and Testament of Rebbe Rashab
Shortly before his passing on 2 Nissan, 1920, in Rostov, Rebbe Rashab of Lubavitch prepared his last will and testament, expressing his wishes with regards to the distribution of his books and other belongings among the members of his family, after his death; in the list of items bequeathed to his son, Rebbe Rayatz, is mentioned a "timepiece", which may have been the present pocket watch (see: Ashkavta DeRebbe, p. 138).
A further mention of a "timepiece" is found in a letter sent by the Rayatz during Elul 5697, to his daughter, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, and her husband, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (the future Lubavitcher Rebbe), in which the Rayatz nostalgically refers to a minor episode, which took place 38 years before, in the year 5659: "when Chanele [Rebbetzin Chana Gurary]… turned one month old on 25th of Elul, it was a fine warm day… I held her bundled up and played with her… the grandfather [Rebbe Rashab] approached us and played with her for a while, he turned the watch before her eyes. She took out her little hands as if trying to grab it, but the little hands were too weak to grab anything." (Igrot of Rebbe Rayatz, no. 5609; Yiddish).

The Rashab's Visits to Germany
Rebbe Rashab (1860-1920), fifth rebbe of the Chabad dynasty and prominent leader of Russian Jewry, was a sickly person who would often travel to various spa towns in Russia and abroad, in order to consult with various specialists. The Rashab also devoted these trips to improving the physical and spiritual state of Jews in general, and Russian Jewry in particular. He travelled to Moscow and St. Petersburg to lobby for the annulment of various decrees against the Jews, participated in rabbinical conferences, sent emissaries to far-flung Jewish communities and ensured the establishment of mikvaot and printing of books. Wherever he went, he toiled to strengthen Torah observance. Some of the places the Rashab visited include France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia and Crimea.
The Rashab's various visits to Germany are extensively documented in his many letters. His first visit was in 1885, and many more visits followed. The Rashab spent most of the year 5667 (1906-1907) in Würzburg, Germany, officially for medical treatment, though he used this time to strengthen German Jewry, meeting with various rabbis and public figures. In Kislev that same year, he was joined by his son the Rayatz, his daughter-in-law Rebbetzin Nechama Dina, and their three young daughters – Chanah, Chaya Mushka and Sheina. The family remained in Würzburg until Elul 1907, when they returned together to Lubavitch. According to the enclosed letter, the Rashab purchased the present pocket watch during one of his visits to Germany.

Diameter: Approx. 5 cm. Good condition. Mechanism not tested.
PLEASE NOTE: Item description was shortened in translation. For further information, please refer to Hebrew text.