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The Twelve Tribes of Israel are not a very common subject for depiction in the Jewish Italian culture. They preferred symmetrical floral decorations. In fact, we only have one object in the museum with representation of the Tribes- a small snuff box that may have been used for havdalah. It is decorated with painted gold leaf and resembles glass bases found in Jewish Roman catacombs, that were used in a celebratory meal in honor of the dead and then left on the walls of the burial chambers.   

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A snuff box decorated with the symbols of the Tabernacle and the Twelve Tribes

Central or Eastern Europe

the 19th century

Wood, leather, ivory

ON 1094

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individual

ON 1094

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