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Torah mantle and finials

Sefrou, Morocco

Torah mantle
Cotton, silk; gilt metal-thread embroidery
H: 67; Diam: 29 cm
Inscribed in Hebrew: “This is the Torah that was written by me, Servant of the Lord, Amram Azini, may the Lord protect and sustain me, year 5686 (1925/26)”
Gift of Shlomo Zini, Moshav Yad Rambam
B70.0644, 151/106

Jewelry-style Torah finials (tappuhim)
19th century
Copper, silver-plated; brass, cast and engraved; glass
H: 26.5 cm
The Zeyde Schulmann Collection in the Israel Museum
B63.11.3282, 147/131

In Morocco it was customary to cover the scroll with a mantle (unlike the tradition in most North African communities, where it is enclosed in a rigid case). Illustrations in Hebrew manuscripts suggest that the custom originated in Spain. This mantle was constructed by combining a stiff body and a hard, round top, both strengthened with cardboard. Gilt metal-thread embroidery embellished a cut-out leather pattern to create dense geometric patterns and stylized floral designs. The textiles associated with Torah scroll were usually embroidered by Jewish men.

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir

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