< Back

Anglo-Jewish Silver

A. G. Grimwade

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Anglo-Jewish Silver1 By A. G. Grimwade, F.S.A. OUR subject is a fascinating and almost unexplored tributary to the main stream of the English goldsmiths' craft. It springs from the settlement in England of Sephardi Jews in the seventeenth century. Entirely unnoticed by Sir Charles Jackson in his monumental survey of English plate of 1911, although numerous examples had been shown in the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition at the Albert Hall in 1887, the subject was first investigated some twenty years ago by the late Philip A. S. Phillips who made invaluable lists of the pieces traced by him and of Anglo-Jewish goldsmiths to which I would like to pay tribute here. My own first contacts with Jewish art, if I may be allowed a moment's personal reminiscence, was when I acted over tw7enty years ago as amanuensis to Dr. Cecil Roth when he made the catalogue of the Arthur Howitt Collection for its dispersal at Christies in 1932. But this extremely fine corpus of Jewish culture, from the nature of things, contained little or no suggestion of Anglo-Jewish art, and it was not until I was asked to make the catalogue of the remarkable accumulation of plate at Bevis Marks a year or two ago, that I became aware of the unique quality of the liturgical objects made for English synagogues and for private use which provide such an interesting and absorbing subject for the student of our native silversmiths' work. Although we have no survivals to prove our claim, we can be reasonably sure that the Jewish communities of mediaeval England must of necessity have adorned their synagogues with costly examples of gold and silver plate. Both Christian ecclesiastical and domestic plate of the highest quality have survived to sufficient extent in this country to prove that the English goldsmith was in every respect the rival of his Continental contemporaries. Perhaps even yet, who knows, some happy chance may bring to light some precious relic of mediaeval Anglo-Jewish art, some survival for instance, as fortui? tous as the preservation in the cathedral treasury of Palma, Majorca, of the fifteenth century pair of silver rimonim noted by Dr. Roth. Stranger things have happened, but until such an event delights us we must begin our story with the settlement of Sephardi Israel under Cromwell. There can be no doubt, of course, that the first congregation to come together then must have brought its liturgical objects with it and we can be fairly certain that these were mainly Dutch in origin. But before very long there is evidence which points to pieces of English origin being procured for the Creechurch Lane Synagogue. The invaluable ?CLibro de los Acuerdos" still cherished by Bevis Marks contains a number of references which point this way. The first dates from the year 5426-1665-6, when it appears that Creechurch Lane Synagogue was burgled, and reads "For the Remonim which they stole in the Synagogue and I paid to Abraham Cohen Gonsales The fact that the replacement was purchased from a member of the Congregation does indeed suggest that the bells so acquired had been privately owned and therefore probably were of Continental make, but enough years had then elapsed from the return 1 Based on lectures given before the Friends of the Jewish Museum on 13th January, 1953, and the Jewish Historical Society of England on 1st December, 1953. 113</page><page sequence="2">114 ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER to make it at least possible that they had been made in London. If such were the case they would, if they still survived, be by far the earliest Anglo-Jewish pieces extant. Three years later we are on surer ground for we read "the Senhores of the Mahamad have dedicated and ordered to be commissioned to be made two pairs of rimanim" following on bequests from the estate of the proselyte Debora Israel. There can be little doubt in my opinion that these were made in London. The next entry relating to plate is of considerable importance. It is an inventory of the Synagogue's possessions made in 1675. This contains the two pairs of bells already mentioned and gives their weight?114 ounces?which shows them to have been of about the same size as the majority of the surviving examples. There is also another item which must have been London made. This is "three silver bowls that in this present year the Pernasim ordered to be made at the cost of the Synagogue to serve on the days of Purim and Fasts." The Synagogue also possessed four silver candelabra, described as "two larger ones that are set on festivals in the Ehall which weigh 178| ounces, the other two smaller ones for the Teba which weigh with the two grease cups 52 J ounces." These, whether English or not, must from their weight have been massive pieces for the period when the majority of wrought plate was of thin sheet metal. In 1676 there is an item in the accounts for cleaning them. Later in the same year in which the inventory had been made, 1675, three silver cups were acquired "to serve on the days of Purim and Fasts" at a cost of ?6 16s. In 1682 the minutes of the Mahamad record the acquisition of a sanctuary lamp of silver for the making of which individuals had made offerings when Bridegrooms of the Law. It weighed 124 ounces 13 dwt. and cost, in the fashion of the time, 5s. 0M. per ounce plus ?5 for the work? manship?a total of ?37 9s. 2d., paid to John Rusien, a well-known silversmith who is recorded as working at the Golden Cup in St. Swithin's Lane from 1690 to 1715. This Bevis Marks record of his name is earlier than any other known reference to him and shows him to have been established some ten years earlier than had previously been thought. Ruslen's connection with Bevis Marks was a long-standing one. He made five of the surviving Lord Mayors' dishes presented each year by the Community, the last by him being dated 1710. So we can trace a continuous patronage of him by Bevis Marks for at least twenty-eight years. His name will come before us again later. Most unfortunately for posterity, the candlesticks and sanctuary lamp which we have mentioned, together with a massive branched candlestick of 380 ounces, were all sold in 1703, after the Mahamad had made representations to the Elders on the incon? venience of keeping so much silver in the Synagogue, and the proceeds put towards the cost of the new building in Bevis Marks. The sum of ?225 15s. was realized which we must multiply considerably to estimate its worth in today's inflated values. While we must deeply regret the loss of such obviously important pieces of plate, we must not be too severe in our judgment of the men of their time who weighed the risk of loss against the need to meet the charges of their new venture of faith in building Bevis Marks. Until comparatively recently plate was regarded largely as a form of capital investment and the records of church, corporation and academic body alike in England are full of such realisations of their plate when financially pressed. I hope I will be pardoned for dwelling at some length on the early possessions of Bevis Marks and Creechurch Lane. In the first place it is the only congregation with whose early history I am acquainted and secondly, as the oldest Jewish community in the British Isles it carries us back in this survey to the start of our subject. I come now</page><page sequence="3">ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER 115 to a more detailed examination of the silver which has survived and which from the early eighteenth century stretches in continuous line to the present day, affording us a full and rewarding field for studying the subject. The objects of liturgical use which exist in the greatest number and constitute an interesting study on their own account are of course the silver bells or Rimonim for the adornment of the Scroll of the Law. The earliest English pair are those at Bevis Marks bearing the London hallmarks for 1712, made by Samuel Wastell, with the name of Jacob Samudaandthe date, 5540-1780. They are direct copies of two pairs of Dutch bells of 1692 and 1693 and incorporate the pine - apple finials of the former and the chased shafts of the latter. (Fig. 1.) The baroque turret form given to them is closely modelled on the popular outline of church towers in the Netherlands and this architectural basis for bells persisted from the late seventeenth century in Holland well into the next century and was closely followed by the English examples. There is another London pair of the same year 1712 at Bevis Marks, probably by Richard Edwards, though the mark on them is not the same as that recorded for this silversmith by Sir Charles Jackson. These are without the coronet-like galleries of WastelPs bells, and show a more bulbous outline to the lowest tier of the body. But the general conception is the same. (Fig. 2.) At Lauderdale Road Synagogue are two unmarked pairs which seem to date from much the same period. Next in date are two pairs of 1719. One by Gabriel Sleath a well known maker of George I's time is at Bevis Marks, having returned from Barbados in 1926. In this the turret form is abandoned and the body composed of three bulbous sections of diminishing size pierced with flowers, while the bells are hung from projecting brackets instead of in the arcade-like openings of the turret models. (Fig. 2.) Mr. Alan A. Mocatta is the fortunate owner of the other pair of this date by William Spack man, a family heirloom of great value matched by the splendid embroidered mantle with which they have always been associated. The next pair at Bevis Marks shows quite another form. Dated 1721, they have bodies formed as open bowls with domed covers raised above on scrolls, above which is another concave pierced section with crown on top. After a gap of three years we come in 1724 to the first of a remarkable series made by Abraham de Oliveyra. These, belonging to the Hambro Synagogue, are illustrated here. (Fig. 3.) There is a close parallel to the Gabriel Sleath bells of 1719 but if anything Oliveyra's design is of greater intricacy, a fact which we may well attribute to his Dutch training and Jewish taste. I propose to deal with this fascinating silversmith later on. For the moment we will continue to trace the development of English bells. Oliveyra's next pair of 1725, also from the Hambro Synagogue, shows very close following of the Dutch baroque-form displayed by an Amsterdam pair which, although undated, must be of about the same time, perhaps a few years earlier. These also come from the same synagogue so perhaps were seen by Oliveyra when the English pair were commissioned from him.1 Following on these he made a pair in 1729, now at the West London Synagogue. These are also of the pierced bulbous form and are enriched with gilt columns surmounted by shells with large crowns above topped by naming vases. They are a particularly fine pair. The 1730's were our maker's principal period since we still have five pairs by him dating up to 1737. Of this last date is a pair, now at Lauderdale Road, made doubly interesting from the record in the Mahamad minutes 1 A further pair by Oliveyra of 1725 has recently been discovered by the writer in Copen? hagen Synagogue. These are of the open bowl form pierced with flowers. It is not known how or when they reached Denmark.</page><page sequence="4">116 ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER of March, 1737, which reads "there were entrusted to Abram. Lopes de Oliveira two bells belonging to the Congregation and some rings and handles of silver ... to make two pairs of little bells which weigh 68 oz. each, a little more or less, for making which he asked ?7." I particularly like the note of caution in the "little more or less". Was it the Mahamad or the silversmith who was careful not to be screwed down to too fine a point ? The second pair of bells mentioned is not now traceable. The other pair of 1737, from the Hambro Synagogue, illustrated, is of fine quality. They profess the open bowl form as we may call it and display Oliveyra's very considerable powers of craftsman? ship. (Fig. 4.) In close comparison with these is the anonymous pair of 1732 beauti? fully chased with gadrooning and with beaded brackets and, a most unusual feature, octagonal bells. These are a really lovely pair. It would be gratifying to ascribe them to Oliveyra but we cannot do so with any certainty. (Fig. 4.) The same form appears in four pairs by the Englishman William Grundy who must almost certainly, I think, have been lent one of Oliveyra's productions. These date from 1758, 1766, 1767 and 1768 and belong, three pairs, to Bevis Marks, and the 1766 pair to the West London Synagogue. The 1758 pair is charmingly chased with flowers and scrolls in the rococo taste as are also the West London pair. Another London firm who made several pairs in the sixties was that of Edward Aldridge and Co. who produced the charming little steeples in 1767 belonging to the New Synagogue. (Fig. 5.) With Wren's flock of City churches piercing the London skyline the silversmith did not have to look far for inspiration. Three other pairs by Aldridge are all now in the Central Synagogue. There are two interesting inventions in the Adam classical style in bells at Portsmouth one by the woman silversmith Hester Bateman of 1780, and the other, very similar, by Boltonand Humphreys, three years later. These are modelled as urn-shaped vases chased with palm leaves and oval rosettes with scroll brackets and coronet tops. When I inspected these in 1950 I thought that interesting as they were, they were not of happy proportions, the vase bodies being too large in comparison with the rather slight shafts and producing a somewhat top-heavy appearance. These latter mark the disappearance of the basic campanile form and at the end of the century a variety of forms was used ; for instance a pair of about 1790 with Exeter hallmarks formed from three graduated crowns supported by the books of the Pentateuch with pine apples above. (Fig. 5.) At Lauderdale Road is a pair of 1801 of hexagonal obelisk form pierced with arches suspending bells and topped by the Lion of Judah holding the Tablet of the Law. Others of about 1813 at Bevis Marks are of five-sided obelisk shape pierced with bands of quatrefoils and topped by vases of pine-apples. Yet another type is the pair of 1802 by Peter, Ann and William Bateman given by Bevis Marks to the Cheetham Hill Synagogue in Manchester on the occasion of the latter's jubilee in 1923. They rather surprisingly consist of open globular cages ornamented with festoons of flowers and a band of pierced and engraved plumes like Prince of Wales' feathers. My final illustration of bells is the pair of 1823 made for the New Synagogue in the form of a revival of the open bowl ornamented with bands of chased blossom. (Fig. 5.) Later examples of the nineteenth century and more recently are for the most part adapta? tions of traditional forms, a brief mention of which brings this survey of English bells to a close.1 1 It is interesting to remark as a footnote to this brief survey of English bells that there is a group of Rimonim in North America made by Myer Myers of New York circa 1770 for the Touro Synagogue, Newport, Rhode Island, the Congregation Shearith Israel of New York and that of</page><page sequence="5">?SP 5 ?SP</page><page sequence="6"></page><page sequence="7">Fig. 5 Left. One of a pair of bells?by Edward Aldridge and Co., 1767. From the New Synagogue. Centre. One of a pair of bells?Exeter?hallmark circa 1790. Right. One of a pair of bells?1823?From the New Synagogue. All in Jewish Museum.</page><page sequence="8">in</page><page sequence="9">Fig. 8 Laver and Ewer?by Abraham Portal, 1768. From the New Synagogue Jewish Museum.</page><page sequence="10"></page><page sequence="11">55 3 ? o CS w - Si ? Z O ig ? o i-H Q CO \ ? 3</page><page sequence="12">* ... - Fig. 12 Lord Mayor's Cup?by John Payne, 1772. Bevis Marks Synagogue.</page><page sequence="13">ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER 117 I should now mention the silver handles and mounts of the scrolls themselves. These being attached to the scrolls are unfortunately not easily illustrated. The earliest English dated examples are those of 1700 at Bevis Marks made by John Ruslen whom I mentioned earlier as making the lamp there in 1682. They are decorated with bands of fluting and bear the name of Jacob Escudero, one of the founders of the Synagogue. There are others undated of about the same time and a pair of 1717 at the Holland Park Synagogue, while Oliveyra made the two pairs of 1733 and 1738 at Bevis Marks. Those of the Hambro and Great Synagogues date from 1766 to 1770 and later examples at the end of the century are at Bevis Marks. Silver scroll cases are very rare. The only pair I can mention are those of 1766-7 by Frederick Kandier bequeathed to the Great Synagogue by Doctor de Falk, the Baalshem and cabalist. These are of polygonal form opening out to form a support to the scroll when being read and have pointers which act as locking pins to the cases when they are closed. I now turn to the English Hanukah lamps which are a particularly charming group. We know of five, all of the eighteenth century, of which the earliest is on loan to the Jewish Museum by its fortunate owner, Mr. Felix Nabarro. (Fig. 6.) This was made by John Ruslen in 1709 and is chased on the shaped back-plate with the scene of Elijah and the ravens in a charming border of scroll outline incorporating acanthus foliage. We can see, I think, in this and the other examples of which we know, how the silversmiths of the time saw in the Hanukah lamp an opportunity to adapt the type of decoration on the back-plates from the designs they were accustomed to use for the wallcandle sconces made for houses of the time. The drip-tray on this example is clearly a later addition which has been superimposed. The lamp was in all probability a wedding gift to Elias Lindo, on his marriage at Bevis Marks on February 2nd, 1708-9. Very close in general style and motif is the lamp of 1712 at Lauderdale Road. This bears the same maker's mark, which is perhaps that of Richard Edwards, as the pair of bells of the same year at Bevis Marks. The scene on the back-plate is that of Elisha instructing the widow to pour out the oil in her house. Her two sons are included in the composition, one in the house with her, the other looking through a window, while the prophet stands outside in a flowery garden leaning on a stick with outstretched right arm giving his instructions. The lower part of the plate is filled with an oval cartouche for arms or monogram which is, however, unengraved, surrounded by sprays of flowers and surmounted by a Cherub's head with similar busts at the sides. The deep tray in this case is original with lips at the corners for pouring out the surplus oil after use. The remaining three Hanukah lamps lie close together in date and are all by the same maker, one Jacob Marsh who worked in St. Swithin's Lane from 1744 to 1748 and at 78 Lombard Street from 1753 to 1772. The earliest lamp, of 1747, was presented about two years ago to the Victoria and Albert Museum by the late Miss Gladys Abecasis. This and the other two of 1750 and 1755, at Lauderdale Road and Bevis Marks, respectively, are all of the same general Mikveh Israel, Philadelphia. These have recently been discussed by Mr. Guido Schoenberger in the Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, Vol. XLIII, and are also described in a recent book on this silversmith by Jeanette W. Rosenbaum. Most of Myers' bells affect the bulbous three-tiered form initiated by Gabriel Sleath of London in the 1719 pair and followed by Oliveyra in the Hambro Synagogue pair of 1724. One pair, however, at Philadelphia furnishes variants, not found in England, with plain pearshaped bodies decorated in the lower parts with spiral chasing, which according to Mr. Schoenberger show affinities to a Nuremburg pair of about 1750 in the Jewish Museum, New York. I</page><page sequence="14">Anglo-Jewish silver outline with a typical rococo border of shells and elongated scrolls, such as is the usual border of salvers and waiters of the time. The earliest lamp, however, differs from the other two in two ways. The drip-tray has a pipe projecting beneath to drain the oil into a hanging circular bucket and the back-plate, which is plain except for engraved cartouches on the two synagogue examples, is in the case of the Abecasis lamp repousse and chased with scrolhvork sind panels of scales, leaving only a small plain centre panel engraved with a monogram of an early member of the family for whom it was no doubt made. Although I think that the best of English rococo silver is of great charm, I must say that personally in this case I prefer the plainness of the 1750 and 1755 lamps by Jacob Marsh to his more elaborate production. A word on the history of the two plain lamps. That of 1750 was bequeathed by Moses Mendes da Costa to the Orphan Society of Bevis Marks in 1845 and was given to the Lauderdale Road Synagogue when the Society closed its doors in 1940. The other of 1755 is engraved with the monogram BRL for Benjamin and Ribca de Lara who were married in 1758. (Fig. 7.) As it was made three years earlier than this it was probably a betrothal gift. It will be noticed that all of these five surviving eighteenth century lamps were originally family possessions and it seems somewhat surprising that more have not survived in Anglo-Jewish circles. Perhaps there are others which have yet to come to light. It is to me equally surprising that there are no examples of authentic English silver spice-boxes in any of the many varied but specialised forms that exist in Continental silver. These, too, are of course essentially family possessions and it does certainly seem strange that none appears to have been made in London. It would seem that the reason is that use was often made of the ordinary domestic silver casters which either singly or in matching sets of three are an everyday feature of the English silversmith's production from the end of the seventeenth century onwards. There is one of 1753 from the Museum collection which comes from the Hambro Synagogue. There is nothing to distinguish it from many which may be found in almost any collection of plate of an old English family. Bevis Marks possesses a larger caster spice-box of 1711 which unfortunately was chased later, probably in the early nineteenth century with flowers and scrolls, and another of 1807. There must be many more. I should mention here a spice-box at Bevis Marks which it is very tempting to claim as an English one, since it is unmarked. Dating as it obviously does from the seventeenth century this would thus be the earliest surviving piece of Anglo-Jewish silver. It bears the name of Isaac de Elias Lindo who dedicated it to the Synagogue in 1740. He descended from Isaac alias Lorenzo Rodrigues Lindo who, after suffering for his faith in the Canary Islands, settled in London in 1675. It is of typical square turret-form, pierced with panels of scrolls on the two tiers of the body and the foot, with little baluster finials at the angles. In spite of the temptation to claim it as an English piece when I was writing the Bevis Marks catalogue, I thought it wiser to ascribe it probably to a Dutch origin. But in view of the origins of the family from whom it came, I now think it is quite possibly of Portuguese make, since the pierced work shows close affinities to the style of decoration common in the Iberian peninsula in the seventeenth century. It could quite possibly date back to about the middle of that century and prove to be the cherished possession of the first Isaac mentioned just now. Whatever the exact history of this fascinating piece, it is without doubt the earliest piece of plate remaining at Bevis Marks, and so probably the oldest Jewish item in this country. There is another class of object, which although it exists in large numbers, offers only comparatively few definitely established English examples for a comparative study.</page><page sequence="15">ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER 119 I refer to the pointers used in following the lines of the law. Final evidence of origin must rest of course on the presence of hallmarks and the nature of these small articles often leaves little suitable space for the punching of the marks. These normally, take the form of a miniature right-hand with extended forefinger set on top of a shaft decorated in various ways. Since authentic English examples are scarce it is gratifying to find one by Abraham de Oliveyra in the Jewish Museum which came from the Hambro Synagogue. It bears its maker's mark on the back of the hand but nothing else, and presumably dates from the 1730's when he was most active as we have already seen. There is a pointer of 1785 at Bevis Marks which once bore an inscription recording its dedication by Joseph Capadose in the following year. It has a tapering shaft with spiral band on the grip, a crown halfway and foliage knop or finial. The same synagogue has another of 1813 given by Jacob Athias in that year. Ramsgate Synagogue has a particularly charming pair of ivory and gold pointers set with precious stones and engraved with the Montefiore arms. They are of nineteenth century date, but their precious materials and delicate workmanship make them very worthy of mention. From one of the smallest ritual objects we turn for contrast to some which are among the largest. I refer to the lavers and ewers for the washing of hands before the priestly benediction. There are I am afraid no English examples comparable in age or splendour of craftsmanship to the superb French ewer and laver of 1672 and 1680 respectively deposited by the Hambro Synagogue in the Jewish Museum, and the earliest English piece is the laver or basin by James Shruder of 1744, belonging to the Central Synagogue. This is followed by the laver of 1751 by that fine silversmith Frederick Kandier, with its accompanying ewer of 1758 by Thomas Heming, one of George Ill's goldsmiths. Ten years later than this latter piece come the two pieces made by the Huguenot Abraham Portal belonging originally to the New Synagogue. (Fig. 8). These, one must regret? fully admit, are rather pedestrian examples of craftsmanship, particularly the ewer with its stiff and ill-proportioned foot. The later generation of Huguenots seem to have lost the magnificent decorative sense of their predecessors, Platel, Willaume, Courtauld or the great Lamerie, and it is rather sad that no Jewish pieces have survived from that wonderful school of craftsmen. Portal incidentally is one of the very few goldsmiths who have found their way into the Dictionary of National Biography, but not, I am afraid owing to his prowess in the craft. His wider claim to fame is due to his authorship of poems, plays and a comic opera, "The Lady of Bagdad," which was performed for one night at Drury Lane in 1778. His trade career began in Soho in about 1749 and he was afterwards in partnership with Harry Gearing at Ludgate Hill where they became bankrupt in 1778. He also lost money at bookselling. No doubt his search for literary fame detracted from that close attention to business which might have brought him greater financial security. After the Portal pieces the next is a basin of 1804 with ewer of 1825, at Ramsgate, rather floridly chased with flowers and scrolls, probably of a later date, and others of 1819, 1825 and 1833 at the Great, New and Central Synagogues respectively. I mentioned the adaption of casters for use as spice-boxes. Another and very successful transfer from domestic to religious use occurs in the case of the charming set of three alms plates by John Eckford of 1744 at Bevis Marks. These were presented on loan in that year by Isaac Salvador and the congregation must feel pleased that neither he nor his descendants have ever claimed them. I remarked above that they were domestic in design and this is undoubtedly so. They have the fluted and scalloped</page><page sequence="16">120 ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER borders often found in small circular dishes made from the late seventeenth century till about 1750, usually presumed to have been designed for fruit dishes, and are delightful examples of English silver of a most graceful and restrained design. There are no very early English Riddush cups nor did any definite form evolve for them like the very charming gilt examples of the mid-eighteenth century emanating from Augsburg, of which there are some in the Museum and a very representative number in the Tuck Collection of the Jewish Historical Society at University College. There are, however, a number of small goblets of English origin which have subsequently been used for kiddush cups. Among these is one by the firm of Duncan Urquhart and Napthali Hart, made in 1794 and given to Asher Lumley on his circumcision in 1797. It is gratifying to be able to point to a piece by another Jewish silversmith apart from Oliveyra. Hart was in partnership with the Scotsman Urquhart from 1791 to about 1817. Their chief output seems to have been tea services of elegant oval form common in the first decade of the nineteenth century. There is another goblet of 1811 by them in the Tuck Collection which was presented to a Dr. Coltman in the following year by the Jews of Liverpool for his professional services rendered to their poor.1 And in the same collection is a Kiddush Cup of 1810 with Hebrew inscription recording its presentation to the Sheerness Synagogue by Moses Bar Michael in 5670-1811. Mr. R. J. D'Arcy Hart has kindly supplied me with details of Naphthali's Hart's business compiled from London Directories, the United Synagogue archives and Principal Probate Registry. He was Treasurer of the Hambro Synagogue in 1807 and 1808 and later a member of the Western Synagogue. A son of Jacob Hart, he died on the 25th or 27th September, 1834, and was buried in the Western Synagogue Cemetery at Brompton. He was in partnership with Urquhart from 1794-1805 at 10 Clerkenwell Green, then from 1806 to 1811 at 1 and 2 New Christopher St., Finsbury, and in 1812 at 5 King St., Finsbury Square. He carried on business alone at this last address from 1813 to 1816, and for the next ten years was in partnership with one Harvey, presumably his brother-in-law Henry Harvey of King St., Finsbury Square, who died in 1839. From 1828 the firm was known as Hart and Son, and remained at the same address until 1848, later being recorded at 77 Cornhill. Lastly there is the example of 1832 at Ramsgate which is a direct copy of the unusual Dutch Cup of about 1730 at Bevis Marks which stands on three scroll legs resting on a circular base and has the bowl attractively chased with strap-work and foliage. Sir Moses Montefiore undoubtedly ordered a copy of the Bevis Marks cup to be made at the time he was building his private synagogue at Ramsgate. As with Kiddush cups so with Citron boxes for which no standard form seems to have evolved in this country, and it would appear that any suitable box or casket may have been pressed into service. For instance there is in the Tuck collection a pair of barrel-shaped hooped silver beakers by Samuel Hennell of 1800 which fit together and so make a rather awkward box, very roughly of the outline of the fruit in question. This was presented by Dr. Solomon Hirschel to his friend Aron Joseph, Parnas of the Great Synagogue on his marriage in 1817. Apart from this one instance I have not so far detected any other English citron boxes before the mid-nineteenth century. Mr. Wilfred Samuel possesses, however, an attractive modern example made for him by 1 Mr. Harold Sebag-Montefiore possesses a Kiddush cup of about 1820-25 with chased and embossed decoration which was presented by Rabbi Solomon Hirschel to Sir Moses Montefiore. Sir Samuel Joseph presented another of 1802 to the Great Synagogue in 1943. This is engraved with a portrait of Solomon Hirschel and Hebrew verses enumerating the occasions for its use.</page><page sequence="17">ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER 121 Leslie Durbin, of oval fluted form, the lid surmounted by a group of the fruits of the Holy Land. I come now to the very interesting group of rare English silver Sabbath lamps, of which only three eighteenth century examples have so far come to light,. Of these, two are by Abraham de Oliveyra of 1726, and 1734, of which the latter, acquired by the Jewish Museum a year ago, is illustrated as Fig 9. As in the case of the earliest English bells the Dutch influence is strong in these lamps, and the form corresponds almost exactly with that shown in Picart's Ceremonies et Coutumes Religieuses, which appeared in Amsterdam just at this period, and of which an English translation was published in London in 1731. The normal form is that shown here of six members, hook, crown, ball, lamp with seven burners, drip-pan and pendant finial. The second and earlier of Oliveyra's lamps is dated 1726. (Fig. 10). By a curious coincidence it appeared at a public auction in New York in January, 1953, only a few weeks after the acquisition by the London Jewish Museum of the 1734 example. It came from the estate of Mrs. Juliette Hamilton, daughter of the late J. Pierpont Morgan to whom it was sold by Messrs. Duveen in 1906, and I have traced it back to a sale at Christies in 1892, then the property of a General Arbuthnot, when its identity and maker were not recognised. It was then described as a sanctuary lamp, and was presumably thought to have been of Roman Catholic origin. It will be noticed that it contains an extra member in the form of a pierced double-headed eagle, which gives rise to interesting speculation. This bears Oliveyra's mark and is therefore undoubtedly contemporary. Mr. Richard Barnett has put forward the attractive suggestion that this eagle may indicate that the lamp was made for Diego, alias Moses, Lopes Pereira, Baron d'Aguilar, who, after being invited to Vienna in 1725 to advise the government on the creation of a tobacco monopoly, gained the favour of the Empress Maria Theresa, was appointed her Treasurer and created a Baron of the Empire. In 1758 he settled in England, which he had first visited in 1722. Although he does not appear to have been in this country in the year in which this lamp was made and hallmarked, it is quite possible that it may have been sent as a present to him, and the symbol of the Austrian eagle included to mark the honour bestowed upon him, almost the first professing Jew to be ennobled. The third English example of a Sabbath lamp came to my notice as a result of my lecture to the Friends of the Jewish Museum. It is the earliest of the three, being hallmarked for 1722 and made by William Spackman, who it will be recalled was respons? ible for the pair of bells of 1719 belonging to the Mocatta family. This indicates that, like John Ruslen and Richard Edwards before him, and Jacob Marsh, William Grundy and others after him, he must have had an acknowledged Jewish clientele. This lamp belongs to Mrs. George Mosely and has descended to her from her Canadian forebears. Until I had the pleasure of examining it early this year, it was unidentified as English. It has unfortunately suffered in the past from neglect and has been ignorantly repaired with the result that certain of its connecting sections were incorrectly rejoined, but by the kind co-operation of Mr. Richard Barnett it has recendy been restored in the British Museum workshops to as near as possible its original shape, which is almost identical with the Oliveyra example of 1734, in line with the Picart engraving. Until some other specimen emerges from obscurity, Mrs. Mosely's lamp holds pride of place as the eailiest English silver sabbath lamp yet discovered. Apart from these three lamps the only other English example to come to my notice is one by Samuel Hennell, dating from 1813, recently in the possession of Mr. Mosheved. I will now turn back to Abraham de Oliveyra, whose name has run through this</page><page sequence="18">122 ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER paper like the main theme of a musical composition. What do we know of him ? A fair amount in comparison with the very nebulous details we have of most of his contemporary rivals in the goldsmith's trade. That we know as much as we do is largely due to the enthusiasm and research work of Messrs. Wilfred Samuel and Richard Barnett who followed up the maker after my identification of so many of his pieces at Bevis Marks and elsewhere. His family. Lopes de Oliveyra can be traced back into the seventeenth century in Amsterdam where one member was Haham. Abraham's marriage certificate of 1697 when he married Rebecca de Abraham Morais in London gives his father's name as Jacob. One of this name was Parnas or Warden of the congregation in Amsterdam in 1654 and figures again in a list of married members of that synagogue in 1675, so that the date intervals would make identification with Abraham's father fairly certain. Abra? ham's daughter's name, Sarah, is included in the baptismal register of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, on November 1st, 1698. Since her father was obviously a staunch member of his ancestral faith, this, as Mr. Samuel has pointed out, probably means no more than that the parents were using the only method available at the time of registering their daughter as English-born. Although Oliveyra as we have seen was in London for his marriage in 1697,-his mark as a goldsmith was not entered at Goldsmith's Hall until 1724 or 1725, when he was described as a "smallworker," not in reference to his stature, but as an indication that his work was confined to small articles. In 1739 when all London makers' marks had to be re-registered in new form he is elevated to the status of "large worker." He never apparently became a Freeman of the Company. How did he support himself and his family before he was registered as working as a goldsmith in his own right ? He may of course have worked as a journeyman assistant to one of the established London smiths. But we have another clue in the existence of a Spanish metrical version of the Psalms of David by Daniel Lopez Laguna published in London in 1720 which contains a frontispiece and title page with engravings signed "Abm Lopes de Oliveira fecit." The frontispiece is an elaborate affair composed of a pictorial rebus of a mystical character framed in a foliage border with explanatory rhymes above and below. The rebus pictures include a view of a silversmith's workshop with typical bench and anvils and a smith at a furnace, a silver-framed toilet mirror, a crown, and a cup and cover, rather surprisingly of Gothic inspiration. It would seem from this that fourteen years before his mark was entered, Oliveyra was fully acquainted with the goldsmith's craft. The title-page is adorned with an engraving of David seated on a throne playing his harp, also signed by the artist-engraver. (It appears as a tail-piece to this paper.) As I have said Oliveyra's mark was entered in 1725 and his earliest pieces are the Hambro bells which bear the date-letter I for 1724. This is explained by the fact that the date-letter on London silver does not correspond with the calendar year but runs from May 29th, in one year to the same day in the following year and these bells therefore must have been marked in the first five months of 1725. We may remark in passing that the particular bells are quite obviously the work of an experienced hand and no beginner, and it seems obvious that Oliveyra was accomplished in his craft when his mark was entered. One wonders perhaps if he had worked for John Ruslen, who, as we have seen, had executed frequent commissions for Bevis Marks, though the latter's longstanding connection with the Synagogue, dating from 1682, may perhaps put this theory out of court. We have already seen that Oliveyra was frequently commissioned by the Jewish congregations in the 1730's to make bells, scroll mounts and so on. His activities did</page><page sequence="19">ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER 123 not end there. In both 1736 and 1737 he was one of those who supplied Bevis Marks with the unleavened Passover bread (Matsoi), his share being 500 lb. for distribution to the poor of the Synagogue. For this he was paid at the rate of threepence a pound. In 1737 also it is recorded that the Gabay paid him ?40 10s. for the silver plate or salver weighing 111 J ounces, which he made that year for the annual presentation to the Lord Mayor. We know nothing, unfortunately, of this piece, and I fear we must consider it one of the lost pieces of our silversmith. Oliveyra's three daughters were all married at Bevis Marks, and Jacob Lopes de Oliveyra, very probably his son, was one of the first settlers in Georgia, an enterprise partly sponsored by the synagogue. I have mentioned the entry of his daughter Sarah's birth in St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, register. Sir Ambrose Heal's "London Goldsmiths" has two entries for the goldsmith. The first, describing him as "plate-worker," a common designation in the eighteenth century, gives his address as St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, for the years 1725-27, and the other, where he is called "plateworker and engraver," as Houndsditch in 1739. It will be seen he was never far from the shadow of Bevis Marks round which his life was obviously centred. I cannot quote any piece by him after the latter year and perhaps he retired about then. Since he was married in 1697 he must have been well on in the sixties by 1740.1 He died and was buried in the Bevis Marks cemetery in 1750. We know, as I have said, all too little, apart from a few notable exceptions, of the characters and lives of our English goldsmiths and it is particularly gratifying that out of these preHminary investigations into Anglo-Jewish silver so much has already come to light on its chief protagonist. Mr. Phillips' list of Jewish silversmiths, which I mentioned at the beginning of this paper, contains only two others of the eighteenth century, in London. Of these William Solomon of 1747 (he is recorded as plateworker in Church St., Soho) he regarded with some doubt. The other was Napthali Hart whom I have already mentioned. Mr. Phillips traced, in addition, six Jewish names of smiths registered in Dublin between 1784 and 1787 and other names at Exeter, Chester and Birmingham, though to none of these is it possible to ascribe a mark or consequently any known work. They may quite probably have been retailers of plate only or perhaps pawnbrokers. The nineteenth century has not yielded any names for the list, but about thirty years ago Abraham Benelisha, a proficient and fluent silversmith working on traditional lines, made some excellent sets of bells, breastplates and other pieces, a number of which are at Holland Park Synagogue of which congregation he was a prominent member. These were mainly in the traditional styles of East Europe, though I seem to recollect a more English design on occasions. A survey of this kind would be incomplete without referring to the Lord Mayor's salvers and cups. As readers will know these presentation pieces of plate accompanied the annual gift of the Sephardi congregation to the Lord Mayor, at first filled with sweetmeats and later accompanied by a purse of ?50, for exactly a century from 1679 to 1779. Dr. Lionel Barnett has discussed the historical background to these gifts in his book, Bevis Marks Records. Here we are concerned with the forms the plate took. The earliest salver or handled dish to survive is that of 1697 embossed with the scene of Abraham entertaining the angels, which now by a twist of fortune's wheel belongs to xMr. R. D. Barnett has recently found a reference in Lyson's "Environs of London," Vol. Ill, to Oliveyra's tombstone in the Mile End "Novo" Cemetery, as an example of longevity, where it is stated that he died at the age of 93. He must therefore have been born in 1657.</page><page sequence="20">124 ANGLO-JEWISH SILVER St. Michael's Church, Bristol. This is by the silversmith, John Ruslen, whom we met earlier in the Bevis Marks records and who appears to have had a standing commission for these pieces for some considerable period, since not only this earliest salver but the four following survivors of 1699, 1702, 1708 and 1710 are all from his hand. Illustrated here is that of 1702 belonging to Lord Swaythling and kindly lent by him to the Jewish Museum. (Fig. 11.) For its date it is quite unlike any other plate of the early eighteenth century. Not only was the traditional form with two handles still in use, but the decora? tion, too, is far more in the Dutch taste prevalent under Charles II, which had fairly obviously become standardised for these specific gifts. The other earlier salvers of 1699 belonging to Lord Jersey and that of 1708 formerly in the possession of the Stuart Wortley family and now in the New York Jewish Museum are similar. About 1715 the handled dish yielded place to the more fashionable piece of handleless salver form in the taste of the day and of this type are the two by Robert Hill of 1716 and 1728, belonging to the Spencer-Churchill Collection and Sir Keith Joseph. The latter salver was pre? sented by Bevis Marks to his father, Sir Samuel Joseph, in 1942 to mark very aptly his year of office as Lord Mayor. This latter continues the chased decoration of the seal of the congregation and surrounding floral work, showing how traditional the type had become to persist in this way at a time when practically all plate made was of a severely plain character. One further salver of 1731 by Jonathan Smith also belongs to Lord Jersey. This is of plain oblong form with incurved corners and engraved seal. Some? where after this latter date a further change was made and a cup substituted for the salver. Of these we know only three. The earliest of 1745 by George Boothby was presented to Sir Richard Hoare in that year and is a fine example of the English rococo style. It is chased on one side with figures emblematical of the victory of the City of London over the Jacobite rebels in that year, while on the other Britannia accompanied by her lion points to the arms of the Congregation. The next cup, of 1772, which was presented to Lord Mayor William Nash is by John Payne and now belongs to Bevis Marks Synagogue (Fig. 12.) It demonstrates the final phase of the rococo style, softened by a floral decor and chased with bands of husks while satyrs' busts surmount the handles. The final example to survive is that of 1777, two years only before the ceremony was discontinued. It is by Thomas and Richard Payne, who were presumably sons of the maker of the 1772 cup. This is now in the Jewish Museum. It is of oviform urn shape chased with palm-leaves and shows the change of taste to the Adam style which makes a complete break with the previous rococo examples. With this short glance at these survivors of the interesting custom that aimed at fostering good relations between the growing Jewish community of London and the City's chief magistrate we come to an end of our survey of Anglo-Jewish silver and the craftsmen who devoted their skill to its production.</page><page sequence="21">125 APPENDIX Glossary of Jewish Liturgical Silver The Citron Box is the receptacle for the Citron (Hebrew, Bthrog). The Citron (together with palm branch, myrtle and willows of the brook) is used on the Festival of Tabernacles in fulfilment of the commandment prescribed in Leviticus, ch. 23, v. 40. Finials (see Rimorrim). The Hanukah Lamp is the eight-branched candelabrum lit on the eight nights of the Festival of Lights (Hanukah) commemorating the exploits of the Maccabees. The Kiddush Cup is the silver wine goblet used on sabbaths and festivals in the Sanctification (Hebrew, Kiddush) ceremony. Lovers and Ewers are used by the descendants of Aaron (the Cohanim) to wash their hands prior to assembling in front of the Ark to pronounce the priestly benediction. The Pointer (Hebrew, Yad) is used by the Reader when reading from the Scroll of the Law. Rimonim (also referred to as Finials), are the silver bells which adorn the Scroll of the Law. The bells are placed on the top handles of the rollers and these rollers (upon which the parchment scroll is wound) ere also occasionally made of silver. The Spice Box (Hebrew, Besomim) is used at the Habdalah ceremony at the conclusion of the Sabbath. The Habdalah (division) denotes the division between the Sabbath and the normal week-day and thus indicates the precise moment when Sabbath observance ceases.</page></plain_text>