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Plate

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1771 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved silvered pewter

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Abraham Cohen, MD

  • Museum number:

    M.127-1913

  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries, case 8A

The feast of Purim celebrates the Jewish victory over the Persians in the 5th century BC, as told in the book of Esther. This Purim plate is for the specific purpose of collecting charity during the festival. It is inscribed in Hebrew ‘and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor’ (Esther 9.22) and in Yiddish with the names of the owners, Lieb of Gelbach and his wife Pessele Auerbach, along with the names of Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and Esther.

Physical description

Purim plate of silvered pewter, with engraved decoration. The bottom of the plate contains two scenes of the Ester story: at the top Haman is shown leading a horse upon which Mordecai sits, the phrases (blessed be Mordecai) and (cursed be Haman) are engraved alongside the appropriate figure. In the bottom half, Haman, his wife and his ten sons are shown hanging from the gallows intended for Mordecai, Ester and the Persian Jews. There are two lines of inscriptions, one inside the other, around the rim of the plate. The outer one is in Hebrew and refers to the giving of Purim gifts: 'and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor': Esther 9, 22) The second inscription is in Yiddish and records the names of the owners, Lieb of Gelbach and his wife Pessele Auerbach who were residing in Rome, and the names of Ahaseurus (Xerxes) and Esther. At the top of the rim is a heart shaped shield bearing the letters LPR and supported by two lions.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)

Date

1771 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Engraved silvered pewter

Marks and inscriptions

lamb and flag, and a coat of arms.

Hebrew characters for the date [5]531 by the Jewish calander.

marked 1771

The back is inscribed SHVD

Dimensions

Diameter: 24.9 cm, Depth: 12 mm

Historical context note

Jewish Worship
Judaism is the oldest religion in the world to worship the one God.World Jewry has three main groups: Sephardic, Askenazic and Mizrahi (the Jews who never left the Middle East). All are bound together by a common history and their adherence to the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) and the Talmud (a compendium of rabbinic law and lore).

Jewish religious traditions and rituals centre on the home, the community and the synagogue. Central to Judaism is the observance of the Sabbath. This is a holy day, set apart from the rest of the working week. It begins one hour before sunset on Friday and ends on Saturday evening when three stars can be seen in the night sky.

The Jewish year revolves around a number of festivals, such as Passover. These originated in ancient times and embody multiple layers of meaning, from agricultural festivals to historical events.

Descriptive line

Purim plate, silvered pewter, germany, 1771

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Keen, Michael. Jewish Ritual Art in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: HMSO, 1991. 54 p., ill. 55 p., ISBN 0112904491

Labels and date

Purim Plate
The feast of Purim celebrates the Jewish victory over the Persians in the 5th century BC, as told in the book of Esther. This Purim plate is for the specific purpose of collecting charity during the festival. It is inscribed in Hebrew 'and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor' (Esther 9.22) and in Yiddish with the names of the owners, Lieb of Gelbach and his wife Pessele Auerbach, along with the names of Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and Esther.

Purim plate. Germany, 1771. Silvered pewter
Museum nos. M.127-1913 [22/11/2005]

Production Note

Given by Abraham Cohen, MD

Materials

Pewter

Techniques

Silvering

Subjects depicted

Horse; Judaism

Categories

Judaism; Religion; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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