Artist: Moshe Ben Aaron
Poland, c.1875
Paper, ink, cut

Papercuts were a beautiful feature of Jewish life in Galicia. They were traditionally made by yeshivah students, especially for Shavuot, but were cut by private individuals as well for their own use. These wall decorations were made for many uses. This example is a mizrach, to indicate the direction of prayer. However the Yiddish inscription in cursive writing at the bottom makes it a yahrzeit tablet for the artist's parents as well. The variety of animals shown was a regular feature of the objects made and used by the Jews of Galicia as was the central feature of the menorah, often in unusual forms, as here. However, the depiction of the elephant, the beaver, the leopard, the otter and the wild boar are out of the ordinary.

Height: 45 cm, Width: 54.7 cm
Matted: 56.2 cm H x 64.4 cm W


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