A Rare “Double Light” Tin Chanukah Lamp

A Rare “Double Light” Tin Chanukah Lamp

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Expertly crafted by a professional tinsmith, this completely handmade lamp features hand-cut strips of tin forming a large Chanukah lamp so that two people can each celebrate the lighting of the oil during the holiday. A rather complex (in construction), Star of David is at top, while on the bottom, a sliding drawer is present to hold matches and wicks. From Alsace, France circa 1850. “Double Light” tin lamps such as this one are characteristic of hailing from Alsace. In 1992, the Jewish Museum of Switzerland presented an exhibit titled “The Jews of Alsace”, which included two “double light” tin lamps in their exhibit --- see the exhibition catalog “Juden im Elsass. Judisches Museum der Schweiz”, page 46. For more examples of “Double Light” tin lamps from Alsace, see pages 252 and 253 of the book “Five Centuries of Hanukkah Lamps from The Jewish Museum: A Catalogue Raisonné”. Of all the examples cited that are similar to ours, our lamp is the only example that features a built-in drawer to house matches and wicks, as well as the only example that features a decorative Star of David. These types of Chanukah lamps rarely, if ever, appear in the marketplace; a possible reason being since they were made of such a lowly material, descendants would throw them away, instead of passing down an heirloom. This lamp is a fine example of “primitive yet sophisticated” Folk Art.

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