web analytics
July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Sections
Sponsored Post
Visiting IDF bases and receiving briefings from IDF officers. Ultimate Mission – November 2014

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Israel off the beaten track, feel the conflict first hand, understand the security issues and politic realities, and have an unforgettable trip!



Home » Sections » Arts »

Fine Judaica Auction


In Prayer, oil on board by Alfred Lakos.
Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.

In Prayer, oil on board by Alfred Lakos. Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.

June 20, 2013
Kestenbaum & Company
242 West 30th Street, 12th floor, NYC
212-366-1197 www.Kestenbaum.net

Judaica Auctions and the exhibition that precede them at Kestenbaum & Company are always a cornucopia of aesthetic delights. The sheer variety and overall quality of the ceremonial objects and works of art make the exhibition and catalogue a museum-like experience. The current exhibition is no exception.

German Silver and Enamel Kiddush Goblet. Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.

German Silver and Enamel Kiddush Goblet.
Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.

While Kestenbaum is normally known for rare books and manuscripts, this sale is devoted to Judaica ceremonial art; specializing in kiddush cups, spice containers, ceremonial plates, menorahs, etrog containers, Torah pointers, finials and crowns. Additionally there are a variety of objects from the Bezalel School, Megillot, Kethubot, photographs and fine and graphic art. While within each category there are notable gems, space limits me to mention only a handful of objects that demand attention.

Boris Schatz, artist and founder of the Bezalel School in Jerusalem, was a visionary who attempted to create the first modern Jewish Art movement in Palestine in 1906. After preliminary art studies in Vilnius, Warsaw and Paris and the beginning of a successful career, he met Theodor Herzl and became transformed by Zionism, quickly dedicating himself to making a Jewish national art. While he also did painting, much of his work was in the form of relief sculptures in various mediums, including carved ivory.

Jewish Mother (ca. 1906), carved ivory by Boris Schatz. Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.

Jewish Mother (ca. 1906), carved ivory by Boris Schatz.
Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.

The carved ivory (catalogue 131), “Jewish Mother,” (ca. 1906), is extraordinary in both its size and subject. Measuring 6.25” X 3.85” it is the largest known ivory plaque by Schatz. This size allowed the artist to develop much fine detail that would be impossible with the more common Schatz plaques one third the size. His liberal use of the surface to effectively frame the image and supply its title in Hebrew further creates the impression of an expansive subject. And that is exactly reflected in the image of a young mother holding a child up to put a coin in the tzeddakah box for the Meir Ba’al Haness charity. The concentration on the little boy’s face, echoed by the love and care of the young mother perfectly reflects the verse from Proverbs 1:8; “Listen, my son to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching…” and 22:6 “educate your child onto the right path and even when he is old he will not depart from it,” inscribed on the frame, almost certainly designed by Ze’ev Raban. Schatz is declaring that one of the fundamental values of Jewish thought that we must transmit to our children is reaching out to help our fellows. The mitzvah of tzeddakah is a foundation of Judaism.

Schatz’s sophisticated and elegant image is contrasted with a delightful work of folk art, a German silver and enamel Kiddush goblet (catalogue 6). It is graced with four enamel panels illustrating occasions the kiddush cup is used: Rosh Hashanah; a man holding a shofar aptly labeled “Tekiah;” Passover; a curiously crowned individual seated at a table holds up a round matzah; Sukkos features a standing man in profile holding a lulav and etrog, and finally Shabbos that shows a seated individual about to recite the Kiddush over two loaves and before two oversized burning candles. These works are original folk images that stem from the personal experience of the artist himself, expressing an extraordinary sincerity and awkward veracity.

Oriental Silver Filigree Fish-Form Spice Container (1912). Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.

Oriental Silver Filigree Fish-Form Spice Container (1912).
Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.

Among the twenty or so spice containers, including many fine examples of the familiar Medieval Tower and flower-form, there rests a lone fish. While this fish-form is not especially rare, this silver filigree spice container (catalogue 29) is particularly charming. The piece, inscribed “R.H. Hakim” on one side of the fin and 3-12-1912 on the other, finely details scales from neck to tail where the incised silver changes direction to articulate a graceful finish. Its smooth head features a simple small mouth and wide-open eyes, echoing the notion from the Talmud (Sotah 36b) that fish are immune from the evil eye since they are shielded under water. This kind of protection from the evil eye is of course the perfect beginning to the new week that Havdalah inaugurates. Additionally the fish is a symbol of fertility from Jacob’s blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:16) “…and may they reproduce abundantly like fish within the land,” which surely prophesies a fruitful week to come.

About the Author: Richard McBee is a painter and writer on Jewish Art. Contact him at rmcbee@nyc.rr.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Fine Judaica Auction”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF personnel evacuate a  wounded soldier during operations in Shejaiyya section of Gaza City, July 20, 2014.
IDF Ratchets Up Operation Protective Edge, 80 Targets Destroyed Overnight
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.

Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

More Articles from Richard McBee
Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

McBee-062014-Outside

He refuses to flinch from our painful history, perhaps finding a kind of solace in the consistency of irrational enmity directed against us.

“Vidduy: The Musical” breaks through the formidable barrier of repetitive confession to allow us to begin to understand what is at the heart of this fundamental religious act.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Silverstein’s work has long concerned itself with the intersection between the personal and Jewish Biblical narrative, significantly explored in this column in “Brighton Beach Bible” (July 27, 2009).

Not surprisingly the guardians of synagogue tradition is male dominated in both Moses Abraham, Cantor and Mohel and Synagogue Lamp Lighters.

Neither helpless victims nor able to escape the killer’s clutches, the leaders had to make impossible choices on a daily basis in a never-ending dance with the devil.

Bradford has opted to fully exploit the diverse possibilities of the physical surface by concentrating on the three-dimensional application of paint (impasto) and other material.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/fine-judaica-auction/2013/06/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: