AUCTION 56 | Thursday, December 06th, 2012 at 1:00
Magnificent Judaica: From the Collection of the Jewish Historial Society of England

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Lot 12

Est: $20,000 - $25,000
Berlin, 19th century (with later additions). The shield employs the traditional square arched plate which contains the Tablets of the Law above a hinged compartment that holds a plaque inscribed in Hebrew “Sabbath.” The crown, supported by two rampant lions, has the addition of semi-precious stones - opal, agate, aquamarine, turquoise, coral, amethyst, and what appear to be garnet and citrine. The shield is ornamented with a variety of floral and patterned decoration, both stamped and engraved. Three medallions suspended below contain distinguished dedicatory inscriptions. Marks: Makers mark (MUL/LER) sons of Martin Friedrich Müller, and city mark Berlin but partially indistinct. Hallmark Rosenberg 1208. Height: 14 3/8 inches (36.5 cm), width: 12 1/4 inches (31.4 cm). Replacement hardware and repairs evidenced on the back of the shield, one stone lacking, two handmade thumbtacks set in the top arch of the shield most likely to support a chain. This Torah shield, produced by members of the Berlin-based multi-generational Müller family of silversmiths, was presented to Gustave Tuck in 1934 by the Jewish Historical Society of England, in recognition of his services. Consequently the shield has been customized with added plaques engraved: Right plaque: Remember the Days of Old (Hebrew). Middle plaque: Given in honor and thanks to Gershon Tuck HaCohen (Hebrew). Left plaque: Presented to Gustave Tuck Esq. President of the Jewish Historical Society of England, 1929-1934. Volume XIII of The Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England makes note of this gift, indeed the volume itself is dedicated: “In affection and esteem to Gustave Tuck in grateful recognition of his services to the society as president 1929–1934, as treasurer since 1905, and as the munificent donor of the Gustave Tuck Theatre and Museum and the reconstructed Mocatta Library.” The Transactions also mention that a silver Torah shield “suitably inscribed, was presented to him on November 19th, 1934, as a token of the affection and esteem in which he was held by members of the Society in all parts of the world.” The inscription on the right hanging plaque, from Deut. 22:7, is a direct reference to the fuller passage “Remember the Days of Old, Consider the Years of Each Generation.” This was the title of the address given by the British Chief Rabbi Dr. J.J. Hertz, on December 13th, 1932 at the consecration ceremony of the Jewish Historical Society’s new buildings. The passage was inscribed as “a suitable motto” for the Society on the walls of the Gustave Tuck Theatre, University College, London. For other Torah shields by the Müller family, see Crowning Glory: Silver Torah Ornaments of the Jewish Museum, New York, (1996) nos. 63, 64 and 72; and Jewish Museum New York Catalogue, Danzig 1939, (1980) no. 197.