Hanukkah Lamp thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Hanukkah Lamp

1970-1980 (designed and made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Hanukkah lamp, silver, the base a flat rectangular strip with sloping ends and seven circular holes in a row for candles with cylindrical sockets attached below, the back a series of scrolling overlaid wires with bud finials in an overall asymetrical pattern.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver, soldered
Brief Description
Hanukkah Lamp, silver, Israel, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, ca.1970-80, mark of Eli Gera.
Physical Description
Hanukkah lamp, silver, the base a flat rectangular strip with sloping ends and seven circular holes in a row for candles with cylindrical sockets attached below, the back a series of scrolling overlaid wires with bud finials in an overall asymetrical pattern.
Dimensions
  • Height: 14.2cm
  • Width: 19.6cm
  • Depth: 3cm
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
  • Mark of Eli Gera (Within a rectangle in both Hebraic and Latin script.)
  • ISRAEL/SILVER/925
Credit line
Gift of Dr. Christoph Carlhoff
Historical context
Eli Gera was an Israeli silversmith and jeweller. Born in 1932, he died at the relatively early age of 51 on December 9th, 1983. He enjoyed an international reputation. He had exhibitions of his work throughout the United States and was given a major exhibition at Goldsmiths’ Hall in 1973. In 1974, he was made an Associate Member of the Goldsmiths’ Company and in 1979, he had a retrospective exhibition at the London Jewish Museum from which we acquired a silver Havdalah set, given by Richard Norton (M.60, a-b,-1981).



In the preface to the Jewish Museum catalogue, Aharon Abu-Hatzera, the Israeli Minister for Religious Affairs wrote, “During thousands of years of history, original Jewish art was created through the fashioning of ritual objects…influence…by styles that were prevalent in each period…With the founding of the state of Israel, the distinctiveness of Jewish creativity in ritual objects was somewhat neglected…Against this background we can see the modern creations of Eli Gera as a breakthrough to the renewal of the combination of artistic creativity with worship.”



While undoubtedly, much Jewish ritual silver produced in Israel in the 20th century was in a traditional style, to regard Eli Gera as a lone moderniser is an over simplification. The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, founded in Jerusalem in 1906, closed in 1929 and revived as the New Bezalel in 1935 was foremost in promoting modern design including the production of Jewish ritual silver. Two German Jewish, refugee silversmiths, Davis Heinz Gumbel and Ludwig Yehuda Wolpert ran the silversmithing and jewellery studio before, during and for a decade after the war. Skilled craftsmen and visionary designers, they brought the traditions and methodology of the Bauhaus to their teaching and the production of their own work. Eli Gera, of the next generation of silversmiths built on this tradition and produced silver and jewellery in a more ornamental style but in a thoroughly modern idiom which reflected international developments in the third quarter of the 20th century, as reflected in the work, for example, of Gerald Benney and Stuart Devlin in Britain and Olle Ohlsson in Sweden.



This Hanukkah lamp by Eli Gera is a mature and accomplished example of his silver and representative of the progressive element in Israeli silversmithing of the mid-20th century. It complements the existing Havdalah set already in our collection.

Subject depicted
Bibliographic Reference
Graham Hughes ed. Catalogue of Jewellery and Silver, London, Goldsmiths' Hall, 1973.
Collection
Accession Number
M.24-2017

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record createdJune 25, 2015
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