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Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V

An exceptional, fine and impressive, rare, antique English sterling silver Torah breastplate; an addition to our Judaica silverware collection

SKU: C2767
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Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V
Sterling Silver Breastplate
Sterling Silver Torah Breastplate - Antique George V

Description


This exceptional antique George V English sterling silver Torah breastplate has a rectangular rounded shaped form.


The subtly convex surface of the breastplate is ornamented with hallmarked cast and applied elements depicting columns decorated with bird designs.


Each column is surmounted with crowned lion supporters to a coronet design, terminating with a central Star of David*.


The centre of the breastplate bears a compartment fitted with two hinged hallmarked doors, modelled in the form of the Tablets of Stone**, securing with a swivel catch.


The compartment is encompassed with an impressive cast scrolling leaf decorated border.


The hinged doors open to reveal an ornamental scroll design depicting a Star of David with the central engraved Hebrew character for Hashem***, in addition to the original gilding.


The lower portion of this Torah breastplate is ornamented with a hallmarked cast and applied oval festival plaque holder embellished with an impressive floral and foliate decorated border.


The body of this exceptional sterling silver breastplate is embellished with a broad embossed scrolling foliate decorated border, accented with three hallmarked silver gilt bells to the lower edge.


The piece is suspended from three linked chains, conjoined at the upper portion with a loop ring.


The reverse of the piece features the original hallmarked screwfitments; these secure the aforementioned applied ornaments in situ.


* The Star of David can also be referred to as the Shield of David or Magen David and is a recognised symbol of Judaism.


** The Tablets of Stone (Hebrew: לוחות הברית Luchot HaBrit - 'the tablets [of] the covenant') can be found in the Hebrew Bible, Exodus 34:1. These were the two pieces of stone inscribed by Moses on Mount Sinai, with the Ten Commandments; later in Exodus they are referenced to as Tablets of the Testimony.


*** The fifth letter of the Semitic abjads, known as He (Hebrew: Hē ה), with the added geresh forms the word Hei (ה׳). This is used as an abbreviation for Heshem, which means 'The Name' and in Judaism this represents the name of God.


NOTE: The breastplate (Hebrew: ḥoshen mishpat) can be categorised as both a Torah ornament and Jewish ceremonial art. They are functional ornamental metal plates/shields which are suspended in front of the Torah scroll.

In the 17th century the breastplate was classically square or rectangular, however in the 18th century this developed to become more rounded with decorative borders. Further embellishments such as bells and small dedicatory plaques were suspended from the lower edge. These design features were influenced by the Torah Ark (Hebrew: aron kodesh or aron ha-kodesh) and the parokhet (curtain) which are used to concealing the Torah.

Some Jewish communities keep their Torah scrolls in a case (tik), whereas others may use the breastplate as more than just an ornament, with interchangeable plaques for the occasions Torah readings and festivals. Typically small interchangeable plaques would be kept in the special holder fixed in the center of the breastplate.


Learn more about Judaica silver


Date: 1924

Condition


This antique sterling silver breastplate is an exceptional gauge of silver, exceptional quality and in exceptional condition.

The cast and embossed decoration is all very sharp.

Full British hallmarks struck to the surface of the breastplate are very clear; the maker's mark has worn in keeping with age and location.

The part hallmarks to each applied component, in addition to the bells and hinged doors are all very clear.


Reflections in photographs may detract from the true representation of this piece of antique silverware.


Dimensions


Length of breastplate 33.1cm/13"

Width 23.7cm/9.3"

Depth 4.7cm/1.9"


Weight


28.2 troy ounces/878g


 
 
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Andrew Campbell started trading in antiques during the 1970s. Initially, Andrew lived in the South of England, travelling the country, searching for items of silver to buy. Andrew sold these items at various London markets and antique fairs. Over time, and through selling at a range of venues, Andrew built up a large and diverse customer base from private buyers to national and international trade customers.
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