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OBJECT OF THE MONTH – February 2009


Chain worn by the shames of Vinohrady Synagogue

Chain worn by the shames of Vinohrady Synagogue
Chain worn by the shames of Vinohrady Synagogue
Engraved silver, Prague 1896, maker: KJ
Diameter of medallion: 68 mm
Size of case: 318 x 322 mm
inv. no. 37.957

This chain and medallion was once worn by a shames (synagogue sexton/caretaker) on ceremonial occasions. The office of the shames is mentioned on the Czech-German inscription on the front of the medallion. This chain is one of the few items that can be associated with the former Vinohrady Synagogue. Built in 1896–1898 to a design by Wilhelm Stiassny in what is now Sázavská Street, this was the largest synagogue in Prague in its day, holding up to 2,000 people. The building was heavily damaged in an allied air raid on 14 February 1945 and was demolished in 1951. An elementary school now stands on its site.
 

 


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