Hanukkah Lamp with Clock

Germany, 19th century

Silver repossessed and stamped, 35X25 CM

Gift of Angelo Donati

Hanukkah lamp with clock  

Germany, 19th century

Stamped and embossed silver, 35x25 cm

A gift  Angelo Donati

One of the most interesting Hanukkah lamps in our collection is this Menorah with a pocket watch in its middle. Above the watch is the double headed eagle - the symbol of the Hapsburg  empire. Another such eagle is placed on the top of the menorah. The use of local royal symbols by Jews - in this case Austria - was their way of showing their loyalty to their country and its rulers.  

The pocket watch is also flunked  by two rampant lions which usually decorate  Torah arcs and symbolize  the duality in the Jews' identity - the Jewish one and the Civil one. The architectural elements - pillars, arches - and the two lampposts and roses that decorate the background are reminiscent  of the elegant city squares  of  Europe . They too, emphasize  the influence of the local culture over the Jewish community.

One of the more special and interesting menorahs in the museum's collection is the menorah in the center of which is a pocket watch.  Above the clock is the two-headed eagle with a crown above it - a symbol of the Habsburg Empire. Another two-headed eagle sits at the top of the menorah. The use of local emblems - in this case - Austria, was used by the Jews to demonstrate their loyalty to their homeland and rulers.

On either side of the clock are two lions - animals that often appear on ark structures - and they  Symbolize the combination of Jewish identity and culture of general election. The architectural elements - columns, arches - stand next to two lampposts and rose bushes; These are reminiscent of the squares of classical Europe and by doing so, once again emphasize the influence of European culture on the Jews.

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