26
26

PROPERTY RECENTLY RESTITUTED TO THE FAMILY OF ITS FORMER OWNERS

The Wertheimer-Oppler Hanukah lamp. An important German silver Hanukah lamp, Thomas Tübner, Halberstadt, 1713
Estimate
300,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 482,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
26

PROPERTY RECENTLY RESTITUTED TO THE FAMILY OF ITS FORMER OWNERS

The Wertheimer-Oppler Hanukah lamp. An important German silver Hanukah lamp, Thomas Tübner, Halberstadt, 1713
Estimate
300,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 482,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Judaica

|
New York

The Wertheimer-Oppler Hanukah lamp. An important German silver Hanukah lamp, Thomas Tübner, Halberstadt, 1713
the arched backplate embossed with a menorahabove applied mermaids shooting bows, flanked by engraved text of the blessings before and after lighting the Hanukah light, separated by fluted columns, the lamp compartment chased with full-blown flowers and foliage, foliate heart motifs at the front, raised on four lion and shield supports, the whole flanked by two knights in armor, one supporting the servant light, the top of the backplate mounted with a double-headed eagle
marked on backplate with maker, city, and date letter
height 9 5/8 in. by length 12in.
24 by 30.7cm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Samson Wertheimer (1658-1724), to his eldest son
Wolf Wertheimer (1681-1763/65), of Vienna and Munich, to his eldest son
Isaak Wertheimer (1709-62) of Fuerth, to his son
Josef Wertheimer of Bayreuth, to his son
Philipp Wertheimer (d. 1810) of Bayreuth, to his daughter
Recha (d. 1834), married Samuel Löb Gleisdorfer in Regensburg, to their daughter
Sophie (1810-62), married Dr. Herman Cohen (d. 1869), in Hanover, to their daughter
Ella (1843-1912), married architect Edwin Oppler (1831-80), to their son
Dr. Sigmund Oppler (1873-1942), Hanover and Amsterdam
Confiscated during the Holocaust,
By 1970 in the collection of Central Synagogue, New York
Restituted to the present owner, a direct descendent of Dr. Oppler, in 2007

Exhibited

New York: New York Historical Society, City of Promise, 1970, no. 200.

Literature

Elizabeth Moses, Jüdische Kunst- und Kulturedenkmäler in den Rheinlanden, Düsseldorf:1931, p. 161.

Susan L. Braunstein, Five Centuries of Hanukkah Lamps from the Jewish Museum: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York: The Jewish Museum, 2005, pp. 68 (where double-listed as Oppler Collection and Central Synagogue, 237.

Catalogue Note

This is one of a group of four elaborate Hanukah lamps made about 1710-15 by the silversmith Thomas Tuebner in Halberstadt, Prussia; two are now in the Jewish Museum New York (JM 27-53 and 29-64) and the third in the Israel Museum.

These are significant and luxurious objects (this example weighs over 30 ounces or 1000 grams), and their fabrication has been linked with Isaccher Berend Lehmann of Halberstadt (1661-1730), Court Jew for Augustus the Strong of Saxony.  Even with a post in Dresden, Lehmann remained active in Halberstadt, financing an impressive synagogue in Bakenstrasse which was completed in 1712.  Lehmann may have given the lamps as gifts to other Court Jews whom he would have met at the coronation of Emperor Karl VI as Holy Roman Emperor in December, 1711.

The first documented owner of this piece is Samson Wertheimer (1658-1724), Chief Rabbi of Hungary and Moravia, Rabbi of Eisenstadt, and Court Jew to Emperor Leopold I and his successors.  Wertheimer served as financier and creditor to the Austrian state, negotiating the dowry of the daughter of the King of Poland, supplying the army during the War of Spanish Succession, and paying the Imperial rewards to Prince Eugene of Savoy.  He was called the "Jewish Emperor", and possessed extensive palaces and estates, as well as a guard of Imperial soldiers for his residence.  He presided over a Rabbinical court, delivered the funeral sermons for several important Rabbis, and was a patron if important Jewish authors.

In 1929 art historian Theodor Harburger (1887-1949) and collector and genealogist Michael Beroldzheimer (1866-1942) researched the lamp and its provenance with Dr. Sigmund Oppler, the then-owner.  The descent they established is reproduced here, with corrections.  In 1931 a photograph of the lamp was published by Elisabeth Moses in her work Jüdische Kunst- und Kulturedenkmäler in den Rheinlanden.

The lamp entered the Oppler family when Ella Cohen, Wertheimer's descendant, married architect Edwin Oppler.  Oppler studied with Viollet le Duc in Paris and worked on the restoration of the ceiling of Notre Dame.  On returning to Germany, he had an active career, working mainly in the Gothic and Romanesque styles.  His clients included King George V of Hanover, for whom he worked at Schloss Marienburg from 1864 to 1867, and nobility such as the Count von Solms at Schloss Braunfells (1880).  For Jewish patrons he built synagogues in Hanover (1863-70), Breslau (1866-72), Karlsbad (1877), and Hameln (1879).

On Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938, these four synagogues of Edwin Oppler's were all destroyed.  His son, Dr. Sigmund Oppler, owner of the lamp, and grandson Edwin Oppler were arrested in Hanover and taken to Buchenwald.  Edwin was released three weeks later and given a week to leave Germany.  Sigmund, his father, was held at Buchenwald for almost six weeks and violently abused.  Dr. Oppler and his wife, Lilli, managed to emigrate to the Netherlands in 1939, but were unable to join Edwin in New York; the couple died in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in 1942.

We would like to thank Bernhard Purin of The Jewish Museum, Munich for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Important Judaica

|
New York