A Selection of Works Festivals and domestic ceremonies
late 17th century - early 18th century
Carved, gilded wood
150 x 66,5 x 53 cm
Photo Adam Rzepka. Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme, Paris
This circumcision chair belonged to an Italian synagogue. The circlet of the crown bears an Aramaic inscription mentioning the destination of the object: Dein Qursaya de Eliyahu zakhur la-tov (this is the chair of Elijah, whose memory is blessed).
The prophet Elijah, described as the "angel of the Covenant" presides over the circumcision as protector of the newborn. Circumcision chairs have one or two seats - one for the godfather (Sanddak) and the other for the prophet. One-seated chairs are found more frequently in Sephardi and Italian communities.
The mask of a faun adorning the struts is borrowed from mythology and the Italian decorative repertoire, which is not unusual in Jewish religious objects. This chair once belonged to Zadoc Kahn, chief rabbi of France from 1868 to 1905, and remained in his family.