17th century Italian Cast Bronze Hanukkah Lamp Menorah
Antique cast and chased bronze Hanukkah lamp made in Italy in 17th century in good condition. This Judaica artwork is adorned with family emblem, angels and grotesque figures, consisting of a backplate and a base formed by an eight lamp tray.
The backplate has been cast and chased with two grotesques female profiles issuing from scrolling foliage and flanking a an oval coat of arms with the family arms (right now unidentified). Below is a faun mask; above two cherubs support a Cardinal’s hat over the arms.
It is in good age related condition and comes from a private collection. Origin: Northern Italy.
It is an antique Italian oil lamp for the Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. It celebrates the victory of Judas Maccabeus over the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC. This winter festival lasts eight days and an extra flame is lit for each night of the festival.
For two almost identical examples, see
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, NUMBER M.418 Jewish Ritual Art in the Victoria and Albert Museum London.
THE ISRAEL MUSEUM OF JERUSALEM, Chaya Benjamin The Stieglitz Collection, Masterpieces of Jewish Art, The Israel Museum of Jerusalem, 1987, Catalogue No. 124
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