Saturday, December 9, 2017

A pair of Heinrich Wilhelm Kompff's torah finials were missing from Kristallnacht (1938) until 1970

Heinrich Wilhelm Kompff's "Torah Finials" (1797-99)
NEW YORK---In a publication of 1931, this pair of finials (rimmonim) is described as being in one of the two Kassel synagogues. Nothing is known of their whereabouts from Kristallnacht (1938) until 1970, when the finials were purchased from a dealer. According to their inscriptions, the finials were "a donation of Rabbi Zelig, son of Rabbi Feis of blessed memory, for the Torah scroll of the Benevolent Society in the year [5]559 [1798/99]." This inscription appears along the circular bases that were probably added to the finials shortly before they were purchased. The unusual form of the finials reflects the late-eighteenth-century interest in antiquity and the vogue for classical forms in the decorative arts. [More]