Hanukkah lamp

Pietro Borrani Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 551

Italian silver Hanukkah lamps are among the rarest items of Judaica and only a few eighteenth-century examples are known. This is the only currently known silver Hanukkah lamp in a bench-shape style made for a domestic setting. The iconography is typical of Judaica: the miniature oil jug and the lit nine-stem Hanukkiot (the modern Hebrew term for a nine-branched Hanukkah lamp used outside the Temple) gesture to the lamp’s traditional use during Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. The combination of malleable precious material and innovative design of the first half of the 19th-century exhibited in this object exemplifies the progressive Neo-rococo style of Italian, if not European, Judaica at its best.

Hanukkah lamp, Pietro Borrani (Italian, active 1824–1873), Silver, Italian, Turin

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