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Obj. ID: 37386
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Torah shield, Fürth, circa 1780

© Gross Family Collection, Photographer: Bar Hama, Ardon, -

The following description was prepared by William Gross:

Breastplates – ornamental metal plates or shields hung in front of the Torah scroll – are found in all Ashkenazi communities, as well as Italy and Turkey, but designed differently in each community. In most cases the breastplate is made of silver or silver-plated metal. In Italy the breastplate is shaped like a half-coronet and known as the Chatzi-keter, "half-crown." In Turkey, the breastplate is called a Tas, and assumes a variety of shapes – circular, triangular, oval, or even the Star of David. In Western, Central, and Eastern Europe the breastplate is called either Tas or Tziz; its function there is not merely ornamental: it designates which Torah scroll is to be used for the Torah reading on any particular occasion, with interchangeable plaques.

The most notable early breastplates, from 17th-century Germany and Holland, were either square or rectangular, but over time they became rounded and decorative, and bells or small dedicatory plaques were suspended from its lower edge. During this period, the design of breastplates was influenced by that of the Torah Ark and the parokhet (curtain) concealing it, featuring various architectural motifs, the menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), Moses and Aaron, lions, or Torah crowns.

Thid is a classic example of the form from Fuerth and Nuremberg from the last part of the 18th century. However, the use of the Levite symbol as the central motif between the nicely three dimensional twisted columns is unusual. There is an incription recording the donation of this shield by a couple. The silversmith is a famed artisan from Fuerth whose initials J R appear many times on Judaica from this area and this period. He worked extensively for the Jewish synagogues of the place.

Inscription: Shimshon ben haRav Natan Venckheim Segal and his wife Mrs. Gitel bat Netel Yosef from B?

שמשון ב"ה נתן ווענקהיים סגל וזוגתו מ' גיטל בת נטל יוסף מ"ב.

4 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Torah shield | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
circa 1780
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Silver, Cut, Repousee, Cast, Engraved
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 21.5 cm, Width: 18 cm Weight: 544 g
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
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
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
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
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
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Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.