Auction No. 106

Letters by A. Einstein and Other Illustrious Personalities, Zionism, Jewish Art, letters of Rabbis and Rebbes and Collection of letters to Sir Moses Montefiore from the archive of the late Rabbi Avraham Shisha - London - Buyer's commission 22%

March 6, 2018
Opening $ 10,000
Estimate $ 30,000 - $ 40,000
Sold for $ 12,200
Including buyer's premium

Pair of wooden doors for a Holy Ark, magnificent carvings - lions, rams and birds. Poland, c. 1800.

Description: Each door measures 127x33 cm. Maximum thickness [width of the sculpture]: 10 cm. Especially wide woodcuts, in baroque style. On each door, there are three carved birds, a very large ram in the center and a lion on the bottom. Painted by hand in gold, brown [frame] and a green background. The lions are holding onto a scroll, which are etched with the words of the verse in Psalms 19:8 [in Hebrew]: Torat Hash-m Temimah, Meshivat Nafesh. "Torat Hash-m" is featured on one door and "Temimah" on the second.

Unique features: Wood vestiges from synagogues in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia are especially rare. Though they were designed by prominent Jewish wood artisans (Simcha son of Shlomo Weiss, Hillel Binyamin of Lask and others) and were the peak of architectural design, and despite the fact that there were thousands of synagogues in these areas - they were the first to burn during pogroms and wars. During the Nazi occupation, the last remnants of these synagogues were burned by the Nazis or the raging local populations.

This is a rare, impressive vestige of a Jewish wood artisan work from the 18th-19th century. Museum piece.

This set of doors has appeared in documentary literature: The Art of World Religions, Judaism, in the series of plates following p. 106.
Guide to Jewish Art, 1989, p. 43.
Illustrated in Jewish Art, 1977, on the back cover of the catalog.

Regarding animal images in wood arks of Polish synagogues, refer to BiShvilei Amanut Yehudit, by Yaakov Finkerfeld, Hotzaot Sifriyat Poalim, art column 1957, p. 26-29.

Condition: Fine-very fine. The paint on the doors has faded and peeled in a number of places over the years and has been restored. A small amount of peeling paint.

Ritual Items