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.
A magnificent silver Chanukah Menorah produced in the city of Tlemcen, in Algeria, near the border with Morocco. Chanukah lamps in silver from Algeria are very rare, especially when crafted on such a high level as this example. The backplate is of pierced work, similar to the technique used by Fez silversmiths, as are some of the motifs. But the overall look, particularly the use of the star and crescent both in the center of the back and at the top of the sides is distinctly Algerian. The inscription, giving the name of the owner or maker, the date and the city is most unusual on such pieces. The piece is marked with the initials of the maker, I W, and a French mark of a crab.
Inscription: "Because the candle is a commandment and the Torah is light" The servant of the Lord Mordechai Yaluz, May his Rock and Redeemer protect him. Tlemcen ....... 5 December 1895