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Obj. ID: 37397
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Hanukkah lamp, Frankfurt am Main, 1924

© 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.

Pure modernist design for Judaica in the Bauhaus tradition was originated and developed by Ludwig Wolpert. He worked on three continents during his career. He was born and trained in Germany, where he originally worked as a sculptor until be begin learning silversmithing in 1925. There exists in the Gross Family Collection a modern form of a cast Chanukah lamp dating from 1924. He began designing modern forms in Judaica in the late 1920's and from this period there is a silver Kiddush cup dated 1931. Almost no silver Judaica made by Wolpert survived the Holocaust. Wolpert immigrated to Palestine in 1935 where he created his own objects in his unique style and through his teaching at the New Bezalel School, until 1956, he trained a whole generation of silversmiths working in a contemporary style. From his time in Israel there is a pair of brass candle holders in the Gross Family Collection. He then moved to the United States where he established the Tobe Pascher workshop in the Jewish Museum of New York. A large pair of Sabbath candlesticks from his New York workshop is also found in the Gross Family Collection. From that time he has been known as the father of contemporary styled Judaica objects. His pieces are distinguished by their elegant, pure forms, their functionalism and the beauty of the Hebrew lettering which he used on many of his creations.

This cast Chanukah lamp is the earliest known ritual object fashioned by Wolpert and pre-dates his career as a silversmith. Its sculptural form belies his training and working as a sculptor in his studio. For several reasons, this particular lamp, of which no other example is recorded, can be labeled the beginning of modern Judaica. Signed: L. Wolpert, 1924

2 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Hanukkah lamp | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1924
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
Brass, Patina, Cast
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 34 cm, Width: 38 cm
Height
Length
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Iconographical Subject
H | Hanukkah
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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
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Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
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Location of Apse
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Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
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Group
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Bibliography
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Negative/Photo. No.