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Burial society carriage
Szarvas, Hungary
19th century
Wood, carved and painted; felt
H: 280; L: 450; W: 180 cm
Purchase, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, USA, through the Menorah organization
Accession number: B96.0198 ; 191/034

Accompanying the dead on their final journey towards burial is part of the tradition of honoring the deceased, and is already mentioned in Rabbinic literature as one of the essential deeds “for which one is rewarded in one’s lifetime and also earns a reward in the world to come.” Funeral processions were held with due ceremony, and the deceased was carried in a special vehicle, such as this majestic carriage from Hungary.

"Suddenly the gates of the palace opened, and men dressed in black brought out the bier and placed it on a black carriage pulled by four black horses . . ."
(S. Y. Agnon, Oath of Allegiance, 1943)

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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