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OBJECT OF THE MONTH



The oldest synagogue textile in the collections of the Jewish Museum in Prague

• 1547 or 1590/1592
• shipped to the Jewish museum in 1942-45 from the Old-New Synagogue collection point in Prague
• part of the Jewish museum’s collection / Judaica (textile) sub-collection
• on display in the Maisel Synagogue


The so-called Perlsticker curtain is not only the oldest synagogue textile in the collections of the Jewish Museum in Prague but is also, perhaps, Europe’s oldest preserved synagogue textile bearing a date. The curtain (or at least part of it) was clearly made by the donor, Solomon Perlsticker, as indicated by the embroidered biblical quotations which relate to the art of embroidery (see below), and by the reference to his nickname, meaning “embroiderer with pearls” in translation. This is a rare example of the work of a Prague embroidery workshop whose techniques and Renaissance decorative motifs reflect the outstanding quality of handicraft at the imperial court of Rudolf II. This curtain was probably made using two different textiles, which were put together in 1592 by Perlsticker’s son, Pinhas.


The Lord gave wisdom to Solomon for him "to work in gold, and in silver" (Ex 35:32) and "to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet" (Ex 35:35) according to the minor era (year in the chronogram: 352 = 1592). Pinhas, son of R Solomon, may he live for many good days, Perlsticker, in the year "is nigh" according to the minor era (year in the chronogram: 352 = 1592). Gautlez, daughter of the martyred rabbi Judah ha-Kohen of blessed memory, in the year 352 according to the minor era (= 1592). “Solomon, son of the martyred rabbi Abraham of blessed memory, called Perlsticker, in the year 350 according to the minor era (= 1590, the letters "nun" and "zayin" are not clearly distinguished in this part of the curtain, which allows certain words and the date to be read in various ways – 307 or 350 according to the minor era = 1547 or 1590). Solomon, Golda.


Inv. No. ŽMP 027.365
Velvet, silk, appliqué, embroidery
2080 x 1320 mm








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