Hebrew University Humanities   Home Page   CJA



Torah finials, Greece, Corfu ?, late 17th c., JMG- 60 (78.25)

Category: Ritual object

Overview Document


Name/Title: Unknown
Object: Torah finials
Artist/Maker: A Z (See: Hallmarks)
Date: Late 17th century
Period: Venetian rule
Origin: Greece, Corfu ?
Community: Greek ? Greco-Italian ?
Collection: The Jewish Museum of Greece (inv. no. 78.25)
Location: The Jewish Museum of Greece
Site: Not relevant
School/Style: Corfu ?


Not relevant
Not relevant

Torah finials

Material & Technique
Structure: raised, hammered
Decoration: chased, engraved, punched
Bonding: screw

Height: 290 mm (general), 110 mm (shaft)
Diameter: 95 mm (general), 23 mm (shaft)

A Hallmark is stamped on the bottom of the shaft in both finials:
1. Artist ?

Decoration Program
Each finial is decorated with a whorl of lobes enclosing foliate motifs.  

The bulbous-shaped Torah finial consists of a shaft, a body and an apex.
The cylindrical tapering shaft is encircled by a ring at its bottom, centre and top. The shaft terminates with a circlet, decorated with a floral motif.
The compressed globular body is formed by a bowl-shaped base, surmounted by a cupola that terminates with an elongated conical tapering top. Each unit is shaped as a whorl of segments radiating from the centre, and is adorned with foliate patterns. Six chains carrying conical bells are suspended from the lower part of the body. The elongated top is decorated with vertical scrolled foliate stems enclosed within strips. A pine-cone apex is set on top of the finial.


The finials are in good condition.


  1. It seems that this pair of finials is a combination of two types of finials originating in Corfu in the late 17th century. One of them (Sc. 522 – 19; S-G 4; fig. 1) is a hexagonal finial bordered by a bowl-shape base and surmounted by a pointed cupola. The base and the cupola are formed of a whorl of lobes enclosing flowers. Each of the facets is adorned with a shield and a cypress tree alternatively. The decoration is in high relief and resembles the style of our finial. The similarity is noticeable especially in the design of the lobes and their decoration.






Fig. 1. Torah finials, Corfu, late 17th century, Sc. 522- 19

The second pair of finials from Corfu (Sc. 522 – 17; S-G 5; fig. 2), is comparable to ours in its shape, although the decoration differs from ours in its style and motifs. Both are shaped as globes (ours is a compressed globe) with an expanded conical top, surmounted by an apex.






Fig.2. Torah finials, Corfu, late 17th century, Sc. 522- 17

  1. The finial is also marked with a mark SG6, which probably indicates the original synagogue's inventory number. Similar marks are also stamped on ritual objects that were part of the Greca synagogue of Corfu.


Type: Original  
Photographer: Date: Negative no.:
Zev Radovan 04.02 1012-18, 1012-28
Object: Photograph:  
Function: Name: Date:
Documenter Irina Chernetsky 04.02
Researcher Ariella Amar 02.07
Section Head Ariella Amar 04.07
Editor Judith Cardozo 05.07
IJA No.: Not relevant  


Mount Scopus, Humanities Building, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
Tel.: (972-2) 5882281 |  Fax.: (972-2) 5400105
E-mail: cja@mail.huji.ac.il
      All rights reserved to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem©
Last Updated: 21 October, 2014
For comments: To Webmaster
Page Up