METAL AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL OBJECTS

Curator: Jaroslav Kuntoš

Characteristics of the collection

The collection of metal and three-dimensional objects contains objects that were once used in synagogues, Jewish homes, associations and institutions, including items of personal use. It contains objects that were intended for ritual use as well as household items that document the daily life of Jewish community members. Included are all objects that fall outside the scope of the museum's textile, manuscript and art collections. There are a wide variety of materials, such as precious and ordinary metal, wood, glass and ceramics.

    The collection comprises the following parts::

  • Synagogue furnishings

    Objects intended for ritual use and everyday items used in the synagogue, including interior accessories and furniture. The most important and largest groups in this section are silver adornments for the Torah scroll – shields, finials, crowns and pointers.

  • Household furnishings

    Everyday objects used in Jewish homes, including furniture

  • Groups of objects associated with Jewish holidays and life-cycle events

    Ritual objects used during holiday celebrations in the synagogue and in the home and objects associated with major life-cycle events (birth, circumcision, wedding and death).

  • Groups of objects associated with the activities of Jewish associations, organizations and companies. The largest group in this section are objects that document the activities of the Prague Burial Society.

  • Memorial objects associated with the Shoah

    Groups of objects that document persecution during the Shoah.

The current content of the collection

The collection contains more than 8,000 items. The largest groups are silver adornments for the Torah scroll – more than 700 shields and almost 1,200 pointers.

History of the collection

Development of the collection started in 1906 with the founding of the original Jewish museum in 1906. Some of the acquisitions made early on are to this day among the most important items in the collection. The largest expansion occurred during the Second World War, when objects were sent to the Central Jewish Museum from emptied synagogues and Jewish homes. Only occasional acquisitions were made during the existence of the State Jewish Museum; this mostly involved the return of items that had been provided to Jewish communities after the war for their religious purposes. The collection is still being expanded through purchases and donations.

The most interesting collection pieces

Torah shield, Inv. No. JMP 046.075
Silver, Prague, 1784, Richard Fleischmann
Hammered, chased and cast, partly gilt, set with emeralds and rubies
This shield is part of a group of Torah adornments that were commissioned for the Pinkas Synagogue by its warden Wolf Zappert in 1783-1784
On permanent display in the Winter Prayer Hall of the Spanish Synagogue

Torah crown, Inv. No. JMP 037.746
Silver, Prague, 1723, Filip Oberholzer
Hammered, chased and partly gilt
The oldest preserved Torah crown from Bohemia, acquired by the museum before the war

Cradle, Inv. No. JMP 032.141
Moravia, early 19th century
Inlaid wood
On permanent display in the Klausen Synagogue

Hanukkah menorah, Inv. No. JMP 066.185
Prague, 1767, maker: KV
Hammered and chased silver
On permanent display in the Klausen Synagogue (ground floor)

Wedding ring, Inv. No. JMP 003.993
Central Europe, 19th century.
Hammered and engraved silver
On permanent display in the Klausen Synagogue gallery

Burial Society ballot box, Inv. No. JMP 004.526
Mikulov, mid-18th century.
Wood, velvet, silver
On permanent display in the Ceremonial Hall

Matzah plate, Inv. No. JMP 101.865
Terezín, 1944
Wood

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