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PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF TWO NEW JERSEY FAMILIES

Extremely Rare American Tinned Sheet Iron Menorah, 19th Century
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248

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF TWO NEW JERSEY FAMILIES

Extremely Rare American Tinned Sheet Iron Menorah, 19th Century
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Extremely Rare American Tinned Sheet Iron Menorah, 19th Century

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Hanukkah lamps have ancient origins as oil-burning lamps, but by the 1700s, they were produced with candles and candle sockets as well as oil reservoirs. Historically, these lamps were made from a variety of inflammable materials, but base metals (pewter or brass) and silver examples survive with frequency from craftsmen working in Europe and North Africa. These lamps are used inside homes for religious observances only, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem (2nd century BCE), and not for domestic purposes.

Early American immigrants included people of the Jewish faith traveling from England, Europe, the Caribbean, and South America.  Historic Hanukkah lamps, especially with an American origin rarely appear in the marketplace.

Another early American tin candleholder menorah was donated by this family to Winterthur (accession no. 2011.30.2).

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