View full screen - View 1 of Lot 30. ​An American Judaica Papercut by Israel Mannesovitch, [Albany]: ca. 1920.

​An American Judaica Papercut by Israel Mannesovitch, [Albany]: ca. 1920

​An American Judaica Papercut by Israel Mannesovitch, [Albany]: ca. 1920

​An American Judaica Papercut by Israel Mannesovitch, [Albany]: ca. 1920

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Papercuts were an especially popular form of folk art among the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This elaborate papercut is an outstanding example of the continuity of Jewish folk art tradition as it was transferred from Eastern Europe to the United States in the nineteenth century. It was elegantly conceived and delicately executed by Israel Mannesovitch circa 1920. Mannesovitch was born in Russia in 1859 and immigrated to the United States in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. He is documented in the New York census of 1892 as living in Albany and running a dry goods store located at 245 South Pearl Street.

Mannesovitch is known for his elaborate papercuts filled with a panoply of animals and precise floral designs. The Tablets of the Law are featured prominently at the top of this papercut and the initial words of the Ten Commandments are written within. The artist signed his name in Hebrew in the lower border. Two other, similarly elegant papercuts by Mannesovitch, dating from 1918 and 1925, are known; both are in private collections. Yehudit Shadur, the renowned scholar of the history of Jewish papercuts, published Mannesovitch's 1918 creation in her iconic work on this genre, but only recently have we been able to uncover more details about the life of this gifted artist.

Physical Description

(10 1/2 x 21 1/2 in.; 267 x 546 mm). Framed.


Joseph and Yehudit Shadur, Traditional Jewish Papercuts: An Inner World of Art and Symbol (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2002), 142 (no. 4.28).

Murray Zimiles, Gilded Lions and Jeweled Horses: The Synagogue to the Carousel (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press; New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2007).

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.