Auction 79 Judaica from the Finkelstein Family Collection
Jun 21, 2021
8 Ramban St, Jerusalem., Israel

The auction has ended

LOT 16:

Embroidered Cloth – Synagogue Partition – Modena, 1670

Sold for: $5,000
Start price:
$ 5,000
Estimated price:
$10,000 - $12,000
Auction house commission: 25%
VAT: 17% On commission only

Embroidered Cloth – Synagogue Partition – Modena, 1670
Embroidered length of cloth, used as a synagogue partition. Modena, Italy, 1670.
Embroidered linen cloth.
A unique article and a rare exemplar of both Italian embroidery and the handiwork of Jewish women. In all likelihood, it was donated to the synagogue, by the embroiderer herself, to serve as the partition separating the men's and women's sections of the sanctuary.
Embroidered inscription (Hebrew): "Thus shall you say to the House of Jacob and tell the Children of Israel [Exodus 19:3] / Modena, Year 5430 [1670]."
The abovementioned verse appears in the Bible as part of the introduction to the narrative in which the Torah is delivered to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai. According to the midrash, the words "House of Jacob" is a reference to the women of Israel, whereas "Children of Israel" is defined as the men. The choice of this passage was apparently intended to emphasize the role played by women, both in the creation of this particular work of embroidery, and generally, in their acceptance of the Torah.
Height: 82 cm. Width: 188 cm. Stains and minor blemishes.
For a similar item, referred to as a "Sabbath Cloth, " see Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (curator and ed.), "Fabric of Jewish Life: Textiles from the Jewish Museum Collection, " Vol. 1, exhibition catalogue, The Jewish Museum, New York, 1977, cat. item no. 173.