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Obj. ID: 188
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Torah finial, Tunisia, 1856-1905

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Salmon, Naomi, 1994

The tower shaped Torah finial consists of a shaft , a body, a head and an apex.

The cylindrical shaft tapers towards the body. It is mounted over a seven faceted base from which a dome rises. the decorated with a circumferal foliate band. A double ring appears at the top and bottom of the shaft. The shaft is decorated with vertical bands bearing a branch and a blank band alternately. A branch bearing leaves encircles the shaft in its middle.

The faceted tower shaped body is mounted over a bowl shaped base decorated with a wreath of flowers from which a lamp like motif is hung. The wreath is surmounted by two narrow strips, bearing a scalloped and geometrical motifs.

The body is composed of six facets and is divided into two tiers, in deminishing size. Three faceted fences delimit the tiers. Two columns frame each facet which comprises of an arch. A Sanctuary Implement is attached to each one of the arches and is mounted over a fleur de lys. 

At the first tier reading counter-clockwise are the following Implements:

The Tables of the Covenant, the High priest’s robe, the seven branched Menorah, the Eternal light, the Ark of the Covenant, and a hand pouring water from a laver.

At the second tier reading counter-clockwise are the following Implements:

The High priest’s Miter, the Priestly blessing, the Ark of the Covenant, a Turban, a cluster of grapes, a jug.

Six snake shaped rings from which hang chains with elongated bells are attached to the bottom tier.

A bell shaped head is mounted over the body and bears a circumferal decoration of a stem with heart-shaped leaves framed by scalloped and blank strips.

An acorn shaped apex, placed over two leaves, surmounts the head. 

At the first tier reading counter-clockwise are the following Implements:

The arched Tables of the Covenant bear the beginning of the ten commandments, five in each side written in square filled letters. A stem bearing leaves separates between the commandments. 

The long, stripped High Priest’s robe bears sleeves and is surmounted by a scarf decorated with linear leaves.

A seven branches curved Menorah bears a central undulating shaft mounted over a scrolled shaped base. Each branch is composed of a flower surmounted by a compressed globular knop. flames emerge from a globular oil container. The central flame is higher then the others.

The Eternal light is composed of a bowl shaped container and a cover terminating in a floral apex. Two curved handles are attached to the sides of the container. The Eternal Light is hung by three ropes uniting at their upper end in a flower shaped part.? 

The ark of the Covenant is a framed rectangle bearing the inscription "שדי"   “Shadai” in square filled letters and  surmounted by Cherubim shaped as wings.

a Levite hand pouring water from a laver is depicted. The hand holds a goblet shaped laver from which water are pouring to a bowl bearing a concaved strip in its center and decorated with a wreath of leaves radiating from its base.

At the second tier:

Above the Tables of Covenant The High Priest’s Miter is depicted. The crescent shaped Miter has a curved upper part with two elongated ends bearing circles at their apex.

The Priestly blessing is depicted as two hands turned out with a split between the middle and ring fingers. Two wavy cuffs are attached to the hands.

The Ark of Covenant is similar to the Ark in the first tier of the Finial but bears no inscription and the wings of the Cherubim are wider.

A Turban is depicted mounted over a garland and surmounted by a scarf .

A cluster of grapes is depicted hanged from a horizontal bar.

A goblet shaped jug containing flowers appears.

Six snake shaped rings from which hang chains with elongated bells are attached to the bottom tier.

A bell shaped head is mounted over the body and bears a circumferal decoration of a stem with heart-shaped leaves framed by scalloped and blank strips.

An acorn shaped apex, placed over two leaves, surmounts the head. 

46 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Torah finials | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1856-1905
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Material/Technique
Silver
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 440mm (General) 125mm (Shaft)
Width: Not relevant
Diameter: 85mm (General) 19mm (Shaft)
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
The same Hallmark appears about 30 times, on different parts of the Torah finial. Hallmark document.
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
|
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconsdivuction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.