web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The World Of Judaica

A very unusual silver Charoseth dish in the form of a wheelbarrow "pushed" by a Jewish figure.   Germany circa 1900.

A very unusual silver Charoseth dish in the form of a wheelbarrow "pushed" by a Jewish figure. Germany circa 1900.

Dear Jewish Press readers,

Welcome to the world of Judaica. As most of you know, the field can cover many things. But in the context of this column we are going to deal with the collecting aspect. Why do people collect Judaica?

The answers vary but include nostalgia, history, culture, and perhaps a spiritual enrichment at play when we look at the dedication of our ancestors in beautifying our synagogue service and our “minhagim” at home.

Collecting Jewish antiques entails a bit of dedication as well, as there are many different categories of art that we have to deal with.

The largest and most collected are the Jewish ritual objects, both for the synagogue and for the home.  Antique ritual objects for the synagogue are the magnificent Torah crowns and Rimonim (finials), Tassim (breastplates), Yadim (pointers), Parochets (Torah Ark curtains), mantles for the Torah and numerous other synagogue decorations like Mizrachs and Shevitis.

An important silver Holiday cup presented to the Jewish Historical Society of England by Anthony and Lionel de Rothschild in memory of their father Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917). The cup is from Augsburg, Germany 1741-43.

An important silver Holiday cup presented to the Jewish Historical Society of England by Anthony and Lionel de Rothschild in memory of their father Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917). The cup is from Augsburg, Germany 1741-43.

For the home of course we have the Chanukah Lamps, Menorahs, Kiddush cups, Havdallah candleholders, etc. There are also many handmade textiles, such as challah or matzah covers and wimples for the new born (part of the Yekkie tradition).

Gentile silversmiths made the silver objects from Central and Eastern Europe and most of Italy since Jewish craftsmen were excluded from the very powerful craft guilds from the early Middle Ages. The exception was in engraving which was permitted to them (paradoxically), thus we now have the beautifully hand-engraved Hebrew texts on our ritual objects. The German, Austrian and Italian masters who made some of the most magnificent Torah crowns, breastplates and spice containers, are known to us by name – such as the Mitnachts in Augsburg who dedicated themselves to active Jewish trade through three generations of silversmiths in the 18th century, or the Sandrats and Shullers in Frankfurt beginning in the 17th century.  Objects by these masters do come up on the market occasionally.

We also have fantastic silver creations from Poland, the Ukraine and Russia, but the names of those artists are mostly lost to us.

And then we have collectors of illustrated and illuminated manuscripts in the form of Haggadot or Megillot, Mizrachs and Shevitis, Omer calendars, etc.  The masters of Haggadot such as the Leipnic in the 18th century are well known to us and a Haggadah by such masters today would fetch anywhere between $300,000 to $500,000 dollars.

The artists who created some of the most beautiful illuminated Megillot are also known: Shalom d’Italia from Amsterdam, the creator of the first engraved (woodcut) Ketubah, also created a magnificent Megilla in the 17th century. An extraordinary, beautifully illuminated Megilla (17th century from Northern Italy) from the M. Steinhardt collection was sold at Sotheby’s in April 2013 for over $600,000.

A classic Seder plate, silver with the order of the service at center and scenes from the Haggadah on the rim. German, circa 1890.

A classic Seder plate, silver with the order of the service at center and scenes from the Haggadah on the rim. German, circa 1890.

About the Author: Romanian-born Peter Ehrenthal came to the States in 1957. He and his son have owned one of the finest Judaica galleries in the world since 1973.


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 “The World Of Judaica”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressing Congress.
The “Esther Moment” and Why There is Nothing “Random” About This Day
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

Respler-022715

The husband needs to make some changes!

Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

More Articles from Peter Ehrenthal
Silver - Persia, 19th century.

While the Torah categorically forbids the practice of magic and sorcery, the type of magic that utilizes the many mystical

Chanukah lamp, Russia 19th century (2)

Synagogue ritual art is also abundant but for various reasons not usually collected.

A new generation of Sabra artists have come to the fore, creating imaginative and attractive pieces of arts.

The highlight of the auction was a superb and extremely rare ram-shaped silver spice container (very similar to the one in the Kiev Jewish Museum, and probably by the same maker) which brought $36,000.

Collecting Jewish antiques entails a bit of dedication as well, as there are many different categories of art that we have to deal with.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/feautures-on-jewish-world/the-world-of-judaica/2014/04/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: