Auction No. 098

Holy books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical & Admors letters, Americana & Judiaca

March 27, 2017
Opening $500
Estimate $1,000 - $1,500
Sold for $915
Including buyer's premium

A magnificent olive wood writing case decorated with carvings of the holy sites in the Land of Israel [Land of Israel, end of the 19th century].

Specifications: Width 37 cm.  Length: 29 cm. Maximum height: 11.5 cm.

The writing case is composed of two parts: a writing box and a pencil box. In the pencil box: Storage compartments for specific items such as: a compartment for a brush and the original brush, a compartment for a stamp and a stamp with no embossing, and so on. The pencil box has a cover with a locking mechanism (the key is missing). On the lid of the pencil box are carvings of Rachel's Tomb, the Tower of David and floral decorations, surrounded by a border of tiny pieces of dark and light colored wood.The writing box has a sloping lid which opens out to become a padded writing surface, the inner part of the writing surface lifts up, revealing a large storage compartment. On the rear wall of the storage compartment are two small drawers hidden behind a removable wooden plate.

On the lid of the writing box is a carving of the Temple Mount (the Dome of the Rock) and floral decorations, surrounded by a border created by inlaying tiny pieces of different colored wood. At the bottom of the lid is the word JERUSALEM. On the top of the lid are the words 'Bezalel Jerusalem' (a number of letters are erased), in woodburning work. It seems that this was not done by Bezalel, and that the writing was added soon after the writing case was made.

Unique Features: There is carving on three sides of the writing case, on the right - the Cave of the Patriarchs with writing and floral decorations. On the left - the Western Wall with writing and floral decorations. Carvings of plants and flowers are on the front.

Condition: Fine. There is a width-wise crack on the lid of the writing box. Tiny lack in the front corner of the writing box's lid. Crack in the front right-hand corner of the writing case itself.   

Ritual Items & Art