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Obj. ID: 244
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Torah crown of the Mishna Society in the Lithuanian Beit Midrash in Bila Tserkva (Odessa, 1909)

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 7.1992

The double tiered Torah crown consists of a main section and a crest. Each tier is composed of a base and arms (figure 1). The coronet-like base is comprised of a round band topped by wavy edges bearing flowers and scrolls. The band is decorated with two alternating shields and Tables of the Covenant bearing a continuous dedicatory inscription. The inscription is written in square filled letters reading clockwise (figures 2-5): "Donation of Rabbi Menahem Mendel son of Rabbi Moses Judah and Mr. Moses son of Rabbi Dov Lichtenstein to the Society for the Study of Mishnah of the Lithuanian Beit Midrash of  Belaia Tserkov' (“Sadeh-Lavan”), the year (5)689 (1909)." Each shield is supported by a pair of rampant, regardant griffins. The Tables of the Covenant are supported by a pair of rampant, regardant lions. 

Four medallions are interspersed between the inscriptions. The medallions are read clockwise from the right of figure 3: A bull (figure 6), Noah's Ark as a houseboat with a chimney, a closed door and windows, placed on the water (figure 7). A ram (figure 8) and a fish (figure 9). All the animals face left. 

Six tapering concave arms radiate from the base converging at the convex unit which surmounts them. The lower part of each arm is decorated with cartouches containing depictions of: Noah's ark, as a house-boat, similar to the one on figure 7 (figure 10), an elephant (figure 11), blank Tables of the Covenant (figure 12), a swan (figure 13), a fish (figure 14), and a bull (figure 15). All face left and read clockwise. The arms are decorated with scrolls and acanthus leaves. At the top of each arm protrudes a rampant lion whose front legs support the crest. A flower hangs from the crest between each arm. The crest is a spherical crown comprising a round band decorated with rhomboids and dots, surmounted by arms in the shape of acanthus leaves. The arms are capped by a floral disk which is surmounted by a hemispherical apex. 

16 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Torah crown of the Mishna Society in the Lithuanian Beit Midrash in Bila Tserkva | Unknown
Object
Object Detail
Date
1909
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period Detail
Material/Technique
Gilded? Silver
Material Stucture
Cut, Hammered, Raised
Material Decoration
Repousse, Punched, Cast, Engraved
Material Bonding
Screwed
Material Inscription
Engraved
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
415 mm
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
195 mm
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
The Torah crown has no holes to attach it to the Torah scroll.
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Two hallmarks are stamped on each part of the crown.
1: Authority
2: Artist
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program

The Torah crown is surrounded by medallions bearing scenes of the Flood, Tables of the Covenant, lions, griffins and floral motifs.

Summary and Remarks

According to the artist's hallmark the Torah crown is dated to the end of the 19th century. The same hallmark appears together with an assay hallmark from Odessa, active in 1883, on other objects from this region, See:IJA 10139. The city hallmark notes a later date, probably a remark hallmark by an assay who was active in Yekaterinoslave. 
Similar iconography can be found on two pairs of Torah finials from Odessa from approximately the same period, (244918.doc, 774621.doc). Animal motifs without the Ark also appear on a spice box 921927.doc.

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
According to the hallmarks and dedicatory inscription, the Torah crown was made at the end of the 19th century in Odessa. At the beginning of the 20th century it was probably in Yekaterinoslav and later on, around 1909, it was in Belaia Tserkov'.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Ariella Amar | 1.7.1992
Researcher
Irina Chernetsky | 6.1995
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconsdivuction
|
Section Head
Ariella Amar | 5.1999
Language Editor
|
Donor
UNESCO |
Negative/Photo. No.