05-21-2009 05-21-2009
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
2456 Boston
May 21, 2009 12:00 PMCalender

Important Silver and Silver-gilt Synagogue Ark-form Hanukkah Lamp

Auction: Discovery - 2456 Location: Boston Date / Time: May 21, 2009 12:00PM


Important Silver and Silver-gilt Synagogue Ark-form Hanukkah Lamp, Brody, dated 1787, with later duty stamp c. 1809-10, ark-form backplate with shell crest, over an upper panel with elaborate scrollwork, birds, and foliage, and a shelf supporting an ewer for oil, all above a central panel flanked by twisted columns, the lower section formed as a shelf with eight dolphin-form oil lamps fronted by scrollwork and Hanukkah scene, (shell crest bent, small areas of loss/separation, lacking servant lamps), ht. 18 1/4 in.

Parke-Bernet, lot 161; illustrated in Hebraica, pl. XV; illustrated Apollo Magazine, August 1929, p. 82; The Journal Mult-es-iovo, Budapest, Vienna and Tel Aviv, Dec. 1936, p. 347, where it was used to illustrate a poem about Hanukkah; Narkiss, Mordechai, The Hanukkah Lamp, Jerusalem: Bney Bezalel Publishing Co., 1939.

Note: Following the Eastern European style of ornate wooden Torah arks, elaborately carved and decorated to hold Torah scrolls, this form of lamp is characterized by bold scrollwork and vines, birds, and animals such as herons, squirrels, and dolphins. Lamps of this elaborate and intricate form are particular to the region of Galicia, and Brody seems to have been a center, as Jews had been granted the right to engage in crafts in 1699.

Estimate $60,000-80,000

Shell crest is bent (should be standing tall), it is lacking the two servant lamps, there is a crack between two of the silver dolphin-form fonts, the applied detail is lifted slightly in areas from the backplate, minor loss to the lower right of bottom crest.


Chanukah, dolphin-form oil lamps, oil, Synagogue Ark-form Hanukkah Lamp, Budapest, Tel Aviv, Bney Bezalel Publishing Co.