Torah pointer ("Yad"). Europe, [19th century].
Silver (marked), cast and engraved.A cylindrical pointer, widening towards the middle, where it is decorated with a ring and engraved petal-like leaves on each side of the ring. The cylinder narrows from the ring upwards until reaching another ring set above the cuff. An inscription is engraved on the pointer: "Yehoshua Bar Avraham". A large closed hand, with a pointing finger and a cuff. The hand with the cuff is made so as to be screwed to the arm (damaged screw). A heavy chain is attached to the pointer.
Total length (without the chain): 32 cm. Fair-good condition. Bends. Stains. Soldering repairs. The chain is not made of silver.
Silver crown. [England or the United States], dedication from the year 1923.
Silver (marked), embossed, cut and engraved; gemstones.
An open crown decorated with openwork decoration of acanthus leaves, and with green, blue and red gemstones. Two shields appear on the body of the crown; one is engraved with the inscription "Donation of the Ladies' Auxiliary D'Chevra Tehillim" and the other "VeLomdei Chayei Adam, 1923".
Diameter: 19 cm. Good condition. Bends. Fractures.
Tefillin boxes. [Unknown origin, second half of the 19th century].
Silver (stamped), bent, soldered and engraved.
The boxes are adorned following the theme of the Mishnah in Pirkei Avot: "Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven". Each side is engraved with one of the animals mentioned in the Mishnah. The upper side is engraved with the letters Shin and Resh [shel rosh] and Shin and Yud [shel yad], inside a circle encompassed with flower petals. The boxes are lined with red velvet.
5.5X6X8.5 cm. Good condition. Dents. Corrosion. The edges of the velvet have unraveled and the velvet is damaged.
34 circumcision utensils. United States, Eretz Israel and other places (?), 20th century.
Steel; silver; bone; bakelite.
1-9. Four circumcision knives, four shields and a separator made by "Millers" (Joseph and David Miller), a workshop manufacturing slaughter and circumcision knives which operated in New York from 1909 through 1960. Marked "Millers" (Yiddish) and "J&D Miller". One of the knives is inserted in a velvet-lined silver box, and an additional knife is inserted in a velvet-lined wooden case. United States, first half of 20th century.
10. Silver shield (not marked) with an engraved inscription: "Haim Meshulam Fisu[…]". [Eretz Israel?, Dedication from 1915].
11-16. Six circumcision knives. One is marked "Lublinsky" (from Dov Lublinsky's shop in Tel Aviv, which opened in 1938). Two more are marked "D.L.".
17-34. Shields in different shapes. One is marked "D.L.".
34 circumcision utensils. Size and condition vary.
A cylindrical filigree spice container ornamented with silver globules. Russia, mid-19th century.
Silver (marked); filigree.
The cylindrical container is made entirely of filigree work in a repetitive peacock's tail pattern, with a frame made of a spiral silver thread. A removable lid is set at top of the cylinder, made of filigree petals in a vegetal pattern creating a dome. The cylinder and the dome are decorated with scattered silver globules. The lid is topped with a silver ball and a flag. The container stands on four legs made of a spiral silver thread. The legs, held together by a silver ball end with a ring set on top of a low silver dome.
Height: approx. 25.5 cm. Diameter: 7 cm. Good condition. Stains. Bends. Slightly bended to one side.
Spice container. [Eastern Europe, 19th century].
Silver (marked), cast and engraved.
A small spice container, designed as a silver dome with a round aperture in the center, with additional small holes scattered all around. The inscription "VaHaricho BeYirat Hashem" is engraved by the central aperture. The entire surface of the dome is decorated with an engraved vegetal pattern.
Diameter: 4.5 cm. Good condition. Bends. Stains. Some damages.
13 spice containers. [Germany?, second half of 20th century].
Cast brass, spun, soldered and cut.
Thirteen spice containers designed as towers, designed after common traditional models of spice containers crafted in Europe, mainly after German models. Some have cylindrical containers while others are square; all have a conic tower and a flag on top of it. Several are hung with bells.
Height: 18 cm to 25 cm. Good overall condition. Bends. Corrosion. Traces of silver plating. Lacking bells and flags.
Three silver plaques and a silver stopper for decorating wine bottles. Germany, [early 20th century].
1-3. Three silver plaques (two stamped) for wine bottles. Various inscriptions are etched in their centers: "Gut Shabbos", "Wine for Kiddush", "Kiddush wine". The plaques are decorated with clusters of grapes, grapevine and Acanthus leaves. Two plaques are crowned with a Star of David. Short chains are attached to the plaques. Height: 6.5 to 8 cm. Good condition. Minor corrosion. Dents.
4. Silver stopper (stamped) for a wine bottle. The stopper is made of a pointed ring, its circumference etched with the inscription "Wine gladdens the heart of man". At the top of the stopper is a handle shaped like a Star of David. Height: 6.5 cm. Diameter: 2 cm. Good condition. Dents. Corrosion.
Bone gragger. [Eastern Europe, 19th century].
Carved bone; cut silver; glue and rivets.
The body of the gragger is carved as two overlapping flags with arms. On the top flag appears in ink the word "Esther" (Hebrew). Attached with a rivet, between the two flags, is an additional rectangular part. Placed on the rectangle is a small polygon stage with the inscription "Purim", topped with a small silver flag.
Height: 14 cm. Width: 11 cm. Fair condition. Stains. Cracks. Bends. Parts are glued to each other. One on the flag's arms is lacking.
See similar item in the Israel Museum collection, item no. B68.0038 106/105.
Silver seal. [Germany?, second half of the 18th century / first half of the 19th century]. Cast and engraved silver.
Oval seal with a stylish handle. The name of the owner is engraved into its surface (Hebrew lettering): "Getshlig son of Rabbi Mordechai Frankel" and the monogram "GF".
Height: 3 cm. Maximum diameter: 2.5 cm.
Seal. Poland, [late 19th or early 20th century].
Cast silver, engraved gemstone.
An oval seal with a stylized silver handle, set with a red gemstone engraved with a Latin monogram "WW" and surrounded by the legend "…Avigdor son of… Zeev Wolf from Zawichost" (Hebrew).
Jews lived in the town of Zawichost in East Poland since early in the 18th century and by the first half of the 20th century more than one third of the town's residents were Jewish.
Diameter: 23 mm. Height: 35 mm. Good condition. Some fractures to bezel.
A token, presumably for receiving meals in the Yeshiva kitchen. [Warsaw?, first half of 20th century].
A token with a hole. Obverse: "Beit HaTavshil shel HaMetivta" (Metivta soup kitchen) and the digits 132. Reverse: blank.
"HaMetivta" Yeshiva was founded in Warsaw ca. 1917, by the Ger Chassidut.
Diameter: 40 mm. Good condition. Some marginal cracks.
According to the owner, this item was found or purchased in the area of Belz.
A token with Hebrew legends. [Galicia], early 20th century.
Obverse: the legend "Hanukkah" surrounded, on the margins of the token by the year תרס"ב i and an additional unidentified legend. Reverse: Star of David with "Zion" in its center.
Diameter: 24 mm. Fair condition. Wear. Corrosion.
According to the owner, this item originates in the area of Lemberg.
Silver sewing case with a seal. [Bingen am Rhein (Germany), 19th century (or earlier?)].
Cast silver, spun and engraved.
A hollow case, thin and long, consisting of four parts (with a spool and a needle case), and decorated with a repetitive geometric pattern. Engraved on the seal at the bottom of the case: "יטכה בת כהרר יוזל מבינגא". A pair of fish is engraved below the inscription.
Height: 8 cm. Good condition. Bends. Some stains. Possibly, a matching thimble is missing.
A copper damascene work plate. [Syria or the vicinity, early 20th century].
Copper; silver damascene work.
A deep plate decorated with vegetal patterns. A man surrounded by lions is seen in the center, with an inscription: "Daniel in the Lions' Den" (Hebrew). The margins are also decorated with vegetal patterns and with three human figures. The plate is signed on the back in Armenian script and the Arab digits 1226.
Diameter: 26.5 cm. Good condition. Bends.
16 silver pieces of jewelry. Yemen and Eretz Israel, [early 20th century].
The collection is composed of ceremonial and daily pieces of jewelry, city and village ornaments, made in the traditional style of the rich silver-craft produced by Yemenite Jews.
Cast silver, bent, cut, soldered and engraved; filigree and granulation; silver beads and gems.
1. Lazam necklace.
Necklace made of three rectangular plates connected by seven silver-bead chains. The necklace ends with two triangular plates. Three cylindrical amulet holders hang on the rectangular plates with hanging "fox tail" chains ending in "pomegranate" beads. This type of necklace was common among Jews in Yemenite villages, however, in Sanaa, only young girls wore it. Attached to the edges of the necklace are strings for fastening around the neck. Length: 32 cm.
2-6. Five chains with amulet holders.
Chains with various types of amulet holders. Four of silver and the fifth made primarily of blue beads dotted by silver beads. Maximum length: 90 cm.
7. Bridal chain.
Chain of a set of a bridal ornaments from Sanaa. The chain is crafted with balls adorned with patterns of lentils and barley, symbol of fertility. Among them is a cylindrical amulet holder. Length: 60 cm.
8. Chain made of large round silver beads, "berry" beads, bell pendants with a decorative silver ball in the center. Length: Approximately 68 cm.
9. Bracelet similar to the "Maanaka" style necklace.
The bracelet is made of triangles and five chains strung with beads and "berry" beads. Length: 22 cm. Good condition. The string on one side of the bracelet is lacking.
10-16. Two pairs of temple pendants and five pairs of earrings.
A pair of temple pendants made of silver balls. Hanging from the balls are long chains, common in Yemenite villages and a pair of loop-styled temple pendants, adorned with granulation. Four pairs of loop-styled earrings and one made of filigree plates from which beads and small plates hang. Length: 4 to 16 cm.
Enclosed: a cylindrical amulet holder made of tin, silver and adorned with filigree. Length: 9.5 cm. Poor condition. Damaged and dented.
Size and condition vary. Overall good condition. Dents. Few lacking parts.
1. The Artcraft of Yemenite Jews, by Mordechai Narkis. Published by the Society of Friends of the Jewish National Museum Bezalel, 1941.
2. Garments with a Message, by Aviva Muller-Lancet. Published by Yad Ben Zvi and the Hebrew University, 2010.
3. The Yemenites, Two Thousand Years of Jewish Culture. By Ester Muchawsky-Schnapper. Published by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2000.
4. In All Their Finery, Jews from the Jewish World, edited by Alia Ben-Ami. Published by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2002.
A large hanging memorial lamp, for a synagogue. [Essaouira (Mogador)?], Morocco, dedication from 1930.
Silver (marked), cast, engraved and soldered.
The lamp is ornamented with a strip of vegetal patterns with three stylized handles attached to it. A dedication is engraved below this strip: "For lighting an eternal candle in memory of… Pinchas M. Toby…". A large slotted ball at the base of the lamp, surrounded by an engraved star with eight points and vegetal decorations. Three chains hang from the lamp's handles and are set at their ends in a silver dome with a suspension loop.
In the collection of Ketubot (marriage contracts) of the Israel Museum is a Ketubah recording the marriage of Shlomo son of Pinchas son of Moshe Toby with Masuda daughter of Masuda daughter of Yaakov son of Yosef Afriat from Mogador (Essaouira), from the year 1893.
For a similar lamp see: Morocco, Jews and Art in a Muslim Land, edited by Vivian B. Mann. Published by Merrell, New York, 2000. Item no. 20.
Height: approx. 32 cm. Diameter: approx. 25 cm. Total length: approx. 85 cm. Weight: 2.30 kg. Bends. Breaks. Rough soldering repairs.
Silver candlesticks. Königsberg, late 18th century.
(Stamped) silver, engraved and etched.
The candlesticks are designed like smooth cylindrical pillars standing on a square base, topped by removable candle holders. The pillars and bases are adorned with etchings of drapes, fringes and vegetal patterns.
Height: 28.5 cm. Width: 13 cm. Good condition. Dents. Minor corrosion. Light breaks. Soldering repairs. The base of one sconce has been replaced with a new part (late replacement).
Chanukah lamp. [Holland, 19th century].
Cast brass, soldered and bent.
A lamp of the type used by the Portuguese community in Holland. The back plate consists of three lilies; below them are openings shaped as wide shields. On the base of the central lily is a blank rectangular plate. Apertures in the lilies. A cast Shamash is placed in the opening of the right lily. A cast row of oil fonts, removable. The oil fonts and the back plate are contained in a matching base with pierced apertures designated for projections securing the lamp to the base.
Height: 23.5 cm. Width: 27 cm. Good condition. Bends. Stains. Some defects. Lacking oil font.
Literature: Narkis, "Menorat HaHanukkah", plate XXI, item 58.
Upright Chanukah lamp. [Germany or Holland, first decades of 20th century].
Cast and spun brass.
The lamp's branches are set in bases designed as clenched fists and decorated with alternating knobs and flowers. Round, dome-shaped base, supported by three dolphins with upturned tails. The central branch is topped by a ball and a Star of David.
Height: 56 cm. Width: approx. 43 cm. Good condition. Corrosion. Bends. Slight defects. One oil font is different in color, apparently replacing a lost oil font.
Literature: Five Centuries of Hanukkah Lamps from the Jewish Museum, A Catalogue Raisonné by Susan L. Brunstein, New-Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 263.
Chanukah lamp. Austro-Hungary, [late 19th century or early 20th century].
Silver (stamped, manufacturer's stamp: S.H), engraved, cut and etched.
The back panel is rectangular and arched. The Two Tablets of Law inside an elongated shell topped by a Torah crown adorn the center of the panel. Two lions appear in two corners of the rectangle, holding a floral braid in their front paws which is spread across the entire width of the back panel. The shamash is inserted at the top right of the panel. The row of oil fonts is raised, mounted on a rod with a handle for removing. This rod is inserted into the base of the menorah and stands on four feet. Vegetal-patterned grates flank the row of oil fonts at both sides. Enclosed are eight covers for the oil fonts.
This Chanukah menorah belonged to Rebbe Avraham Brandwein of Stretin, son of Rebbe Uri Brandwein of Yezupil (Azipoli). Served as rebbe in Piatra Neamţ, Romania, and was very active during the Holocaust in assisting refugees who arrived from Poland. After the Holocaust he immigrated to Haifa, where he established his Beit Midrash. Died in 1973.
Height: 21.5 cm. Width: 21 cm. Good condition. Stains. Dents. Soldering repairs. The row of oil fonts was soldered to the menorah.
Enclosed is an authorization attesting that the menorah was received as a gift from his daughter the Rebbetzin.
Walking stick. [Israel, mid-20th century].
The stick itself is made of wood painted black, topped by a decorative metal handle. The end of the stick is made of bone.
This walking stick belonged to Rebbe Avraham Brandwein of Stretin, son of Rebbe Uri Brandwein of Yezupil (Azipoli). Served as rebbe in Piatra Neamţ, Romania, and was very active during the Holocaust in assisting refugees who arrived from Poland. After the Holocaust he immigrated to Haifa, where he established his Beit Midrash. Died in 1973.
Length: approx. 91 cm. Good condition. Dents and slight damage to handle. Minor damage to wood. The bone-finishing is broken and partially lacking.
Enclosed is an authorization attesting that the stick was received as a gift from his daughter the Rebbetzin.
Embroidered Matzah cover. [Eastern Europe], dedication from 1900.
Cotton; canvas; colorful wool threads; beads; sequins; spiral golden threads.
Round Matzah cover with three pockets. A Torah crown is embroidered on the upper part in spiral golden threads and sequins, and a large and colorful bouquet of flowers is embroidered in the center in colorful wool threads. Embroidered on the margins, one after the other: a dedication - "ש"מ להח' ארי' ליב בהר' שלום נ"י שליט"א", two fish in spiral golden threads and sequins, the inscription "Zecher LeKorban Pesach" and "Zecher LeKorban Chagigah", a lamb embroidered with wool threads and a goat embroidered with beads, the year - שנת תרנ"י i(1900), a Pesach Seder table with food and Hebrew letters and the word "Table" (Hebrew). Embroidered with colorful wool threads on the margins are flowers. An embroidered tag with the word "Kohen", "Levi" or "Israel" is attached to each of the pockets.
Diameter: 48 cm. Fair-poor condition. Unraveling. Tears, Lacking parts of embroidery. Many stains.
An embroidered piece of fabric, embroidered with golden threads. [Ottoman Empire, early 20th century].
Cotton; gold passing thread; colorful threads entwined with metal threads; colorful threads.
In the center appears a Star of David with the word "Zion" in it, surrounded by a circle. The entire surface of the fabric is embroidered in vegetal patterns. A square frame at the margins, with the word "Jerusalem" embroidered again and again. Medallions appear in the four corners with the Dome of the Rock within each medallion. Lace border.
Approx. 95X95 cm. Good-fair condition. Some unraveling. Small tears to fabric. Stains.
1. Sephardi Jews in the Ottoman Empire, Esther Juhasz (editor), The Israel Museum, 1989, p. 90.
2. Shimmering Gold, the Splendor of Gold Embroidered Textiles, Genia Dolev (editor), Eretz Israel Museum, 2007, pp. 68-69.