Hanukkah lamp inscribed with blessings, and adorned with warriors, lions, and bears
Early 18th century
Silver, repoussé, engraved, cast, and partly gilt
Inscribed in Hebrew with the blessings over the lights, along with the passage "We kindle these lights..."
H: 27.5; W: 30; D: 10 cm
Gift of Ignazio Bauer, Madrid
Accession number: B50.08.2921
The seven-branched menorah appears in the center of the back panel. Engraved on either side are the blessings over the lights, along with the passage “We kindle these lights . . .” The figures of Moses and Aaron are depicted in a folk style also found in Hebrew manuscript illustrations and printed books. The colonnade symbolize the Temple, as depicted on Bar Kokhba coins and Torah arks. Figures of Judith and her maidservant as well as warriors appear in the corners of the oil font shelf. The holder of the shammash (“servant” light) is also shaped as a warrior. The bears at the top of the panel are reminiscent of medieval illustrations; the lions resemble family emblems of the nobility; and the font spouts recall eaves troughs of Gothic European cathedrals.
From the Israel Museum publications:
Landau, Suzanne, Architecture in the Hanukkah Lamp: Architectural Forms in the Design of Hanukkah Lamps from the Collection of Hanukkah Lamps at the Israel Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1979, English / Hebrew
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, USA, 2004
The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005
Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir