At Sotheby’s | Important Judaica
Lot 53: Hanukah Lamp, Polish or German, late 18th or early 19th century, bronze, 85 cm. With baluster stem and scroll and bud branches, pricket sconces linked by a brass plate. Sale price (with buyer’s premium): $3,250 (estimate $4,000–6,000).
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Important Judaica Including Property from the Estate of Shlomo Moussaieff Sale N09589 (286 lots)
Sotheby’s, New York, 15 December 2016
The Important Judaica sale began with a significant selection of property from the estate of Shlomo Moussaieff. The group was led by Simeon Solomon’s Carrying the Scrolls of Law, which set a new world auction record for the artist selling for $492,500—nearly double its high estimate of $250,000. Other highlights included a copy of the first English translation of the Jewish liturgy issued for a Jewish audience (1761), which sold—to applause—for $468,500, a record for a work of American Judaica at auction.
The late Shlomo Moussaieff was a renowned collector whose home was a meeting place for connoisseurs from all over the world. Mr. Moussaieff delighted in sharing his treasures with others, and he gave generously of his time and knowledge. Highlights from his collection include a remarkable selection of Kabbalistic manuscripts and a magnificent array of menorahs and Hanukah lamps—mostly of substantial size—featuring examples from Europe and the Middle East. The second part of the auction presented silver and books from various owners. Highlights include two outstanding 18th-century silver Sabbath lamps, a magnificent Italian silver-gilt Torah crown, and important American Judaica, including the earliest Jewish prayer book printed in America (New York, 1761), as well as splendid textiles and paintings.
Lot 270: Large Torah Crown, Venice, early 18th century, parcel-gilt silver, 23 × 22 cm.
Boldly embossed with baroque foliage, fruit and flowers, applied with five urns of flowers within recesses with cut-sheet petals, between cartouches and emblems of the Ark of the Covenant, Priest’s hat, hands of Cohen, priestly garment, and flaming altar, base band with cartouches, all on matted grounds, marked near base with Venice city mark twice and assay master’s mark ZC with tower between twice, the interior fitted with a later bar centered by a ring. Sale price (with buyer’s premium): $225,000 (estimate $180,000–220,000).