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Obj. ID: 37395
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Hanukkah lamp, Baghdad, circa 1900

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

The following description was prepared by William Gross:

The festival of Chanukah is celebrated in the winter period around December and commemorates a Biblical story in which the Jews of the Land of Israel rebel against the Greek occupiers. They reclaim the desecrated Holy Temple in Jerusalem and, miraculously, the small amount of pure oil remaining is enough to keep the Temple light going for eight days. Lamps with eight burners are lit during this holiday, both in the synagogue and at home. Through the centuries, such lamps have taken a wide variety of forms.

This form of Chanukah menorah is exclusive to Iraq, and probably to Baghdad. The lamp used glass containers of oil for the burners. Its symbols are several, including the star and crescent borrowed from Islam, and the three Hamsot and birds often found decorating Iraqi Judaica. On the cast hamsa in the center is an amuletic formula of “Ben Porat Yosef", adding to the protective power of the hamsa itself. The dome shape of the backplate echoes the shape of the mosques in the area. Research into the types of Chanukah menorahs used in Baghdad indicate that this type of lamp dates from the 19th century and is the earliest of the Chanukah menorah forms still existing and was the dominant form until the second decade of the 20th century. In spite of the fact that the lamp was cast from gold-colored bronze pieces, the custom in Baghdad was to cover it with a coat of gold paint almost every year.

Inscription: On central Hamsah: Ben Porat Yosef... (Genesis 49:22)

2 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Hanukkah lamp | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
circa 1900
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Brass, Paint, Cast, Painted
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 28 cm, Width: 48.5 cm, Depth: 8.3 cm
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
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
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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.