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Carved Pointer

The majority of wooden Torah pointers are fairly simple and have a decoration that does not hamper their practical use. This pointer differs from others due to its complex structure with moving segments and as an example of wood-carving virtuosity. The basic shape of the four columns with the inner balls is reminiscent of some of the wooden medieval pointers that are to be found in international collections, although there are far more ornate details here. The reason why the maker chose such a complicated shape and such a time-consuming means of production is made clear by a brief note in a record in the museum’s German Catalogue, which states that it was made by a wartime captive. In view of this, then, it is more of a commemorative item rather than a pointer intended for regular use.

The central feature of the pointer contains the Hebrew inscription: “Shalom Fleischer, Austria”, which is probably the name of its maker.

Carved pointer, Inv. No. 12.772
Oak carving, Central Europe (?), 1914–18 (?), Shalom Fleischer (?)
Length 237 mm, diameter 47 mm

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