The Havdalah candleholder/cum spice container is part of the Jewish ceremony which marks the end of the Shabath and separates the holy day from the beginning of the ordinary week. The distinct form with its four prongs to support the flame may have originated from the early references to the Havdalah light being of special brightness.
For her article in Ars Judaica, Michele Klein surveyed 177 different Havdalah candleholders which `probably includes the large majority of extant Havdalah candle holders that date from about 1680-1920'. 68 of these date before 1800 and three of those were made in Metz. Of these three from Metz, this example now offerred is the oldest known. The other two are:
A similar example, Jean-Henry Mouzin, 1767-1768, in the Jewish Museum New York from the Michael M Zagayski Collection (sold Sotheby's Parke Bennet, New York, 18-19th March 1964, lot 85). Another example with fixed position candlestick, by the same maker of 1777, is in the Musée de Cluny Paris, Collections juives, Inv. N. Cl 12255.
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