Hanukkah Lamp

Unknown Artist/Makerlate 17th-early 18th century

The Jewish Museum, New York

The Jewish Museum, New York

The salient features of this lamp are the arms decorated with stylized buds and knobs, and the hands holding the arms. The hands on one side of the shaft face palm forward, while on the other side the palm is toward the back. Several large synagogue lamps with this design are known. Two were in synagogues in Cleves and Wesel, both in Germany just over the Dutch border, and a third was in Leiden in the Netherlands. Another example with a similar arrangement of hands but different arm decoration was in use in a synagogue in Goch, near Cleves. It would therefore appear that this particular type of Hanukkah lamp originated in the northern Rhine region of Germany or possibly the Netherlands. The use of hands in lighting devices was popular in the seventeenth century, for example on wall sconces in which the hands hold brackets shaped like branches or torches.

The tripod base decorated with cherub heads is found on candlesticks dating to about 1700. This Hanukkah lamp may therefore be of late-seventeenth- or early-eighteenth-century date.

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  • Title: Hanukkah Lamp
  • Creator: Unknown Artist/Maker
  • Date Created: late 17th-early 18th century
  • Location: Netherlands, Europe, Germany, Europe
  • Physical Dimensions: 24 × 21 1/4 × 10 7/8 in. (61 × 54 × 27.7 cm)
  • Type: Ceremonial Art
  • Rights: https://thejewishmuseum.org/about-this-site#terms-conditions
  • External Link: View this object at thejewishmuseum.org
  • Medium: Copper alloy: cast