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Hanukkah lamp made of tin intended for sardine cans
Mazagan, Morocco
ca. 1950
Maker: Meir Ben Ammi
Cut plates and strips of tin, scraps of cloth, and pieces of glass
Printed on tin in English and other languages: “Sardines in olive oil ...cap-Blanc ...”
H: 37.5; W: 26 cm
The Zeyde Schulmann Collection in the Israel Museum
Accession number: B63.11.3197 ; 118/380

This unique Hanukkah lamp is made of strips of printed tin that were originally intended for sardine cans. Alms boxes were regularly made of the same material. In Morocco, canning sardines was a predominantly Jewish industry, especially along the western coast. The lamp was created by Meir Ben Ammi, who was born in Mazagan, Morocco, in 1910, where he worked with his father as a tinsmith. In 1955 he immigrated to Israel and settled in Beit She’an. He would often add the initials of a bride and groom on a lamp and present it to them as a wedding gift, but few of these gifts were actually retained after Hanukkah.

From the Israel Museum publications:
Benjamin, Chaya, North African Lights, Hanukkah Lamps from the Zeyde Schulman Collection in the Israel Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2003, English / Hebrew
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, USA, 2004

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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