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The collection of ritual silver objects at the Jewish Museum in Prague has never before been published extensively or separately. This situation has now been rectified by the publication of a selective catalogue in English, comprising about a tenth of this part of the museum’s holdings.

The catalogue is written by the museum’s metal curator, Jaroslav Kuntoš. The text deals with the structure and time frame of the collection, and with the localities where the objects were made. It ascertains the proportion of items of local and foreign provenance and explores their connections and the routes through which they came to be in this country. With regard to objects of local origin, it describes the special features of the main types and shows how they differ in various regions. It traces groups of Christian master silversmiths who worked in various localities for Jewish clients and shows the proportion of ritual objects in the collection that were made by them. It focuses on the special status of Jewish producers, the differences in their products in various regions, and their share in the total number of ritual objects in the collection; it also seeks to clarify the reasons for the relatively small amount of items that came from their workshops. In conclusion, it draws attention to interventions by the Austrian state at the beginning of the nineteenth century – which had a strong influence on the structure and number of items that have been preserved to the present day – and explains how the individual Jewish communities dealt with this situation.

The catalogue section is arranged according to the individual types of objects and comprises a total of 475 items with all the relevant information. There is also an index of places and names.

In English, 315 pp., 23 cm
ISBN 978-80-87366-12-7
Price: 450 CZK /20 EUR /24 USD

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