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Bell with a depiction of the entrance to the Old-New Synagogue

Iron, hammered and polychrome painted, Bohemia, 2nd half of the 19th century
Height 94 mm, width 95 mm
Inv. no. JMP 61.820

In terms of shape, this is a regular cow bell. It is made out of wrought and riveted sheet iron. What makes it unique is its painted decoration – the front of the bell depicts the entrance to the nave of the Old-New Synagogue in Prague with a view of the portal and people praying. The use of an ordinary bell as the basis for a miniature is most unusual. The inscription on the edge merely localizes the scene and gives no information about the object’s use, which to this day remains unclear. It is likely that it was a type of souvenir. The bell was part of the original collection of the pre-war Jewish Museum in Prague, which acquired it in exchange for another object.

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