AN OTTOMAN PARCEL-GILT SILVER CASE, PROBABLY BALKAN OR GREEK, 18TH / 19TH CENTURY
book shaped, the hinged spine with clip release to centre, chased beaded and geometric borders throughout, the front with openwork linear panels and scroll chased ground, applied with foliate lozenge motifs between, the reverse chased with a hexagram (Star of David) motif centred by a vase of flowers, with angular hinged loops to sides and suspension rings to base
Provenance: Collection of Dr Richard Teltscher (1888-1974), London
Doctor Teltscher always felt that this piece, with the chased hexagram, was an item of Judaica, a box to protect a book, perhaps a Tanakh, Psalms or Festival Prayer book case. Whilst the form is similar to cartridge boxes from the Aegean/Balkan region, it is rather too narrow and lacks the necessary belt loop to be for cartridges.
Dr Richard Teltscher (1888-1974) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Nikolsburg, (now Mikulov) in Moravia. He trained as a lawyer in Vienna, before joining the family wine business in Mikulov, an area that remains a centre of Czech wine-making. Although not a religious man, he was fascinated by the history of Moravian Jewry. Having built-up a private collection of Judaica, he established the Central Jewish Museum for Moravia-Silesia. Opening in 1936, the ill-fated museum lasted only two years, the collection confiscated by the Nazis and taken to Prague, where it remains in the Jewish Museum today. Dr Teltscher fled to the Polish border and, through the intervention of the Chief Rabbi of Warsaw, managed to gain asylum in Britain. He joined his family in London, where he had previously arranged for important items from his private collection to be sent. Following the war, Richard Teltscher was involved in the wine trade and continued to devote his spare time to Judaica. After his death, his collection of rare books was lodged in the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester. In 2008, his cultural contribution was recognised by the town of Mikulov with the award of a posthumous honour.
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