Hanukkah Lamp

c. 1790

Jewish Museum Frankfurt / Museum Judengasse

Jewish Museum Frankfurt / Museum Judengasse

This Hannukkah menorah is designed like a columnar shrine, and set on four cast lion’s feet. The element for the little oil lamps and the holder for the servant candle (shamash) to light them are missing. Semi-precious gemstones and cameos with images of animals and portraits are set decoratively at points on the lamp. The large central gemstone, embedded in a gilded frame depicts the binding of Isaac. The main focus of the lamp’s decorative design is an architectural setting alluding to the Temple in Jerusalem. The double columns on either side frame the sanctuary, which has small silver figures of Moses and Aaron set in front. The Ark of the Covenant behind Moses and Aaron is enclosed behind a gilded balustrade and framed on either side with winged cherubim with human faces. The pediment relief depicts a spreading army camp. The sides of the main tent are drawn apart to reveal Judith holding Holofernes’ head in her left hand, while her right hand still grasps the sword she used to behead him. The story of Judith and Holofernes is recounted in the book of Judith which, although not part of the Hebrew Bible, is traditionally associated with Hanukkah.

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  • Title: Hanukkah Lamp
  • Date Created: c. 1790
  • Location: Koblenz, Germany
  • Location Created: Koblenz, Germany
  • Subject Keywords: judaism, ritual art, Jewish
  • Type: Judaica
  • Medium: silver, gemstones