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TIOH Art Tour: Torah Finials

Finials a 

  • Warsaw, 1887 
  • Silver 
  • Gift of the Briskin Family 
Finial a

Finials b 

  • Aden, 19th Century 
  • Gilding on silver 
  • Gift of the Briskin Family 
Finial b

Here are two pairs of silver Torah finials or rimonim; one made in Warsaw 1887 (a), and the other made in Aden in the 10th Century (b).  They’re very beautiful, but their makers and origins are unknown.   

Both sets are beautiful when observed closely. Both include intricate designs of birds with rings in their beaks, masses of gold and silver bells, delicate chasing and inscriptions. These finials are the work of master craftsmen, people who devoted their lives to making the very hard look very easy. The set from Warsaw (a) depicts three tiers surmounted by a crown, topped by oversized spread-winged eagles. They are pierced and embellished with chased flower heads and floral swags, hung with three gilded bells and six hanging eagles supported on embellished staves. The maker’s mark is incised in the bottom left side of the stave. The set from Aden (b) includes gilding on decorated tubular staves. The main spherical portion is chased and decorated with architectural designs. They are engraved with a dedication in Hebrew, “As a Crown and in Holy Elevation (memory) of the Modest Woman, the Kind and Holy Woman Haanvrusim” on one, and “For God and for the Eternal Rest of the Student, the Kind Avram Bina, Son of David.” They are further decorated with suspended spherical bells.  

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