19th Century Needlepoint Tallit Bag, Jerualem - Menorah Galleries
19th Century Needlepoint Tallit Bag, Jerualem - Menorah Galleries
19th Century Needlepoint Tallit Bag, Jerualem - Menorah Galleries
19th Century Needlepoint Tallit Bag, Jerualem - Menorah Galleries
19th Century Needlepoint Tallit Bag, Jerualem - Menorah Galleries

19th Century Needlepoint Tallit Bag, Jerualem

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An Intricate Jerusalem Textile, made in Jerusalem, 1886. Double-sided large pouch. Wool thread embroidered on cotton net. One side has a lion and stag holding flags reading “Jerusalem” in Hebrew, which flank a crowned Ten Commandments. Titled in Hebrew “Swift as a deer, strong as a lion” (Ethics of the Fathers 5:20). “Jerusalem” is seen in large lettering, atop a pair of birds and flowers. Top scene of the reverse side is titled “Mount of Olives”, amongst a plethora of olive trees, and a cluster of buildings is titled “Chulda the Prophetess”, (where her and others tombs reside). Main scene is titled “The Western Wall”, which features the wall and outer structures with turrets and Cyprus trees. The Hebrew date of “1886” is revealed on the bottom corners. This delicate textile, incredibly vibrant in color after 130 years of being created, is a masterful, exceedingly rare work of art produced in Jerusalem by an unknown woman --- likely quite young, a teenager --- as a gift to an unknown individual. Too complex to be a “tourist trinket”, as we know of one other similarly-made textile that is in the collection of the Israel Museum, and is dated 1876: see the book “Jewish Folk Art: From Biblical Days to Modern Times”, page 122. A clue to where perhaps this was made is in the depiction of the lion and stag holding flags, as they are identical to those featured on the crest of Moses Montefiore. In the 19th century, Montefiore gave enormous sums of money to purchase land for Jewish settlements and establish schools in Palestine. This textile most likely hailed from a school for girls funded by Montefiore, and was made as either a gift for Montefiore himself, or another wealthy donor. As to the actual purpose of this textile, since it is in the form of a large pouch, its intended purpose might have been to hold a tallit (prayer shawl for men), as the aforementioned textile in the Israel Museum is a cloth for the Sabbath.


Dimensions:

 H 14 in. x W 13 in. x D 0.5 in.  

H 35.56 cm x W 33.02 cm x D 1.27 cm

Material: Cotton 
Origin: Jerusalem
Period: 1886
Hallmark: