14 Torah shield


Fridericus Becker

Bratislava, 1810

Silver, embossed, engraved

Donated by I. Weisz from Jászberény, 1910

In the free royal towns and cities, at the dawn of the modern era guilds were still exercising their right from the middle Ages of not allowing Jews among their walls or into their ranks, so in this period hardly any Jewish masters could be found. A at the turn of the 18th century, there were only two settlements in the Hungarian Kingdom where the landlords gave special permissions to Jewish goldsmiths: the Zichys in Óbuda and the Palffys in Bratislava-Ortelec. Naturally, they also made Judaica, which was rare in Central Europe, where, because of the restrictive provisions, still a significant part of the synagogue ritual objects was made by non-Jewish masters. The Bratislava-Ortelec based members of the Jewish Becker family were prominent goldsmith masters who, in addition to the everyday objects made of silver, also made Torah jewellery in order to decorate the torah scrolls of the neighbouring Jewish communities. One of these is the Torah shield donated by I. Weisz from Jászberény, which forms a canopy shape combined with the then-fashionable decorative style.