30 August 2010

London: Jewish Museum acquires Sephardic treasure

Here's one wedding present that wasn't "re-gifted" after the happy occasion.

Tracing the Tribe wants to know where the bride and groom registered their wish list three centuries ago.

The London Jewish Museum raised £282,000 to acquire the silver hanukkiah, according to the story, although it had been on loan to the museum since the 1930s.

Known as the Lindo Lamp (below), it is a Sephardic treasure of British Portuguese and Spanish Jews. It was commissioned for the marriage of Elias Lindo to Rachel Lopes Ferreira in 1709.

Silversmith John Ruslen fashioned the memento at the request of Isaac Lindo, Elias’s father, who fled the Inquisition in the Canary Isles to settle in London and founded the city’s iconic Bevis Marks Synagogue at the start of the 18th century.
“Hanukah lamps are central to Jewish celebrations and the Lindo Lamp is particularly special as it is the first one known to have been made in England,” said Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Memorial Fund.“It is witness to the long history of Jewish people in this country, and it’s wonderful that the Fund has played a part in saving it for future generations.”
It will be displayed at the Museum's Judaism: A Living Faith exhibit, which recently reopened following a £10 million redevelopment.

Funds to purchase the piece came from The National Heritage Memorial Fund (£145,000), Art Fund (£75,000) and the MLA/V&A Purchase Fund (£30,000).

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