Hanukkah Lamp

Georg Jowanov, b. Panschowa, Hungary, d. Vienna, 1772-18451838

The Jewish Museum, New York

The Jewish Museum, New York

This beautifully crafted lamp is unusual in its combination of two distinct decorative techniques. The wreath framework and crown are executed in very high relief, which contrasts sharply with the openwork panels, which are completely flat. This type of flatwork is known on other Austrian lamps, but not in this combination.
A second peculiarity of this lamp is the semicircular arrangement of the oil containers. This is found on some seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Sephardi Hanukkah lamps from the Netherlands and Hamburg, and among Mizrahi communities in the Middle East, for example, in Iraq. It is, however, highly unusual in Ashkenazi lands, where a widely followed rabbinical ruling by Moses Isserles in the Shulhan Arukh (sixteenth century), based on earlier traditions, indicated that the lights should be in a straight line. It is therefore possible that this lamp was produced for a community of Sephardi or Mizrahi Jews living in Vienna. Sephardi Jews from Turkey had been present since the 1730s, and by 1867 eighty-five Sephardi families were recorded.
Other examples of this type have either semicircular or straight oil rows.

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  • Title: Hanukkah Lamp
  • Creator: Georg Jowanov, b. Panschowa, Hungary, d. Vienna, 1772-1845
  • Date Created: 1838
  • Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
  • Physical Dimensions: 9 3/4 × 16 1/2 × 8 1/4 in. (24.8 × 41.9 × 21 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, traced, punched, rolled, and cast; glass