Western European Metal Artworks



    Germany, Augsburg

    second half of the 18th century

    Silver; casting, presswork, engraving

    Height 42.5 cm

    Marks "VK" (?), city mark of Augsburg


    Silver Bsamim made in the form of a quadrangular Gothic tower with an opening door, a clock, semi-circular windows, balustrades, with a banner-topped four-tiered roof with dormer windows and a bell. The textured surface of tower walls imitates the masonry, the roof - tiles.

    The box for incenses - "Bsamim" - is a necessary attribute of "Shabbat," in other words Saturday (Sabbath) that is celebrated as a holiday and being the seventh day of the week. According to the Holy Scriptures, it was on Saturday that the Creation of the world was completed and the Creator rested from his labours. Therefore, the Jews are prescribed to rest on this day and refrain from any actions that may be interpreted as committed job.

    The meeting and seeing off the Sabbath are accompanied by rituals, the most important of which is Kiddush - the blessing of wine and Sabbath bread (Khala), Khavdal (literally "separation" of the Sabbath from other days of the week) and the lighting of the Sabbath candles. Sabbath rituals that are performed privately (at home). Following the tradition they are initiated by a woman (usually the wife of the head of the family). Shortly before sunset she lights candles, says a blessing and reads prayers. Special candlesticks and glasses are used on Saturday, they differ from the everyday objects by artistic decoration. Seeing off the Sabbath, people inbreathe spices and incenses that symbolize the fragrance of the ending holiday. Incenses are storaged in special vessels, called "Bsamim" in Hebrew. They have diverse forms and are very popular in Jewish folk art.

    See: Museum of Jews' History in Russia. Album. M., 2015 - T.1.