Hanukkah Lamp

C S1872-1900

The Jewish Museum, New York

The Jewish Museum, New York

The backplate of this lamp is in the form of a Gothic triple arch. The revival of a number of styles of past eras, from classical to rococo, was quite popular in the nineteenth century, and decorative arts objects in neo-Gothic style began to appear in the 1820s. The height of production occurred in the 1860s.
The use of the Gothic style, with its strong associations to Christian churches, was an unusual choice for a Jewish ceremonial object. However, a number of European synagogues during the nineteenth century were built with Gothicizing elements, including the pointed windows and arches as well as the openwork tracery seen here. This might have been a result of the desire on the part of the Jewish community to blend in with their Christian neighbors during a period of inner and outer pressure to assimilate. Jewish architects condoned the practice, explaining that since synagogues of the medieval period were in the style of their time, it was legitimate in a period of architectural historicization to revive the Gothic style for a synagogue. In addition, some argued that the Gothic style expressed like no other the spiritual aspirations of humankind.

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  • Title: Hanukkah Lamp
  • Creator: C S
  • Date Created: 1872-1900
  • Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
  • Physical Dimensions: 7 7/8 × 9 5/8 × 2 3/8 in. (20.1 × 24.4 × 6 cm)
  • Type: Ceremonial Art
  • Rights: https://thejewishmuseum.org/about-this-site#terms-conditions
  • External Link: View this object at thejewishmuseum.org
  • Medium: Silver: repoussé, pierced, and cast appliqué