7 Torah crown


Vienna, 1809-1810

Partially gold-plated silver, engrossed

Deposit of the Jewish community of Nagykanizsa, 1950

The oldest ornamentations used for the Torah scrolls are crowns placed on the wooden staves holding the parchments of the scroll, which represent respect for the Torah. This Torah crown belonging to the Jewish community of Nagykanizsa was featured on the Historical Exhibition of Metal Art in 1884, and in its catalogue. According to the object description in that catalogue, written by museologist experts of the time, the Hebrew inscription around the hoop of the crown is “a circular engraved inscription from the Talmud”. But it is in fact a donation inscription stating that the crown was purchased from donations of the Jewish community of Nagykanizsa in 1796. On the one hand, that catalogue of 1884 shows remnants of medieval anti-Jewish instincts where false translations of the Talmud came to be the basis of anti- Jewish accusations. On the other hand, the fact that several Jewish ritual objects featured on an exhibition showing the most important, iconic objects of Hungarian national identity, in the period immediately after the infamous blood-libel of Tiszaeszlár, can be considered as a political statement.