18th Century Polish Brass Hanukkah Lamp Modeled after Synagogue Facade
The brass freestanding back-walled Hanukkah lamp consists of eight oil containers, a parapet, back, and sidewalls.
Eight triangular spouted oil containers are fastened to the back wall and enclosed behind a rectangular parapet, which consists of seven oval openings in diamond-shaped frames. There are circles in between the ovals, surmounted by small palmettos. The back wall resembles a facade of a synagogue, reminiscent of facades of wooden synagogues that were common in Lithuania and Poland up until the Shoah. These synagogues were burned and destroyed during World War II. The Menorah was also used to light candles for the Sabbath in addition to Hanukkah. In the center of the wall, there is an arched door flanked by two pilasters and by two arched windows, which are slightly higher than the door. The back wall bears a brick design. There is an oval window above the door. The pilasters “support” a balcony decorated by two rows of holes. The balcony is surmounted by an arcade of eight horseshoe arches, which supports a slanted roof. The roof is decorated with lines and dots, a wavy rim and two “chimneys” on top. The roof is surmounted by two birds facing outwards, connected a central composition, which probably ones featured two birds facing in. The sidewalls of the lamp consist, each, of a rampant lion climbing on a tree and facing outward. The left lion holds with its tale a vase-shaped candle socket with a saucer.
Publication: Chaya Benjamin, The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1987, Catalogue No. 154
Exhibition: The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1987
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