Lot 113: Hanukkah Lamp - Birmingham, 19th Century - Sir Edward Thomason
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: Hanukkah lamp. [Birmingham, first half of 19th century, ca. 1815-1829]. Cast, sawn and engraved silver; gilding; white metal; brass; mirror; gemstones. Marked (Manufacturer's mark only: ET). A unique (and probably one of a kind) design composed of several parts produced in different techniques. The base is designed in the shape of a grand piano positioned on three round legs. A row of oil fonts in front consists of a narrow and elegant (removable) container, with eight delicate and small cone-shaped oil fonts inserted into eight small holes in the container (removable as well). On the panels of the piano and on its top are engraved decorations in vegetal patterns and in a scale-like design. An ornament with delicate leaves and flowers is screwed to the upper part of the base, with four figures with long fish tales. A triangular mirror is integrated into the center, topped with a gemstone, and on the reverse - an oval medallion with an engraved Hebrew inscription: "ì-÷ úé"á" . Above this ornament, on an oval base with an additional gemstone, stands the figure of Moses, with two horns (cast in white metal) - holding in his left hand the Tablets of the Law; a chain is hanging from his right hand, with the Shamash hanging on its end (made of brass), designed as an oil lamp. Above the figure of Moses is a crown and two pillars. On the reverse of the base appear two miniature marks of the silversmith Edward Thomason (c. 1772-1849), who worked in Birmingham, England, since 1793 until ca. 1853. In 1832 he was knighted by King William IV. No other Judaica artifacts created by Thomason are known. A paper label is glued to the inner side of the base with the name of philanthropist and businessman Solomon David Sassoon (1841-1894), father of the renowned collector David Solomon Sassoon, who lent this Hanukkah lamp to an exhibition held in Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1906. Height: 26 cm, width: 21.5 cm. Good overall condition. Some loose parts, soldering and old soldering repairs. Exhibited: Exhibition of Jewish art and antiquities, Whitechapel Art Gallery, [London, 1906]. Literature: Whitechapel Art Gallery, Exhibition of Jewish art and antiquities, Catalogue, [London, 1906], item no. 167. Provenance: Sassoon family collection.