• Hanukkah lamp from the Netherlands
    Photographed by Katie Powell, July 2019

Hanukkah lamp from the Netherlands

Museum Work

Resource TypeObjects
Date of CreationUnknown
GenreReligious Materials
Object ID2018.039.001
CreatorUnknown
Place of CreationUnknown, likely the Netherlands
DescriptionBrass Hanukkah lamp (menorah) with eight-branched candle sockets and a moveable ninth candle socket (Shamash).

The style of the menorah belongs to the Eastern European style of menorahs of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which continued into the early twentieth century in North European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The round base sitting on three fish-shaped legs is characteristic of this style and period.

The bird figure at top of lamp is a peculiar decoration. Stylized birds appear on many Judaica objects during this period, influenced by the style of menorahs from African or Eastern countries, symbolizing the Garden of Eden or other biblical episodes and places.

The style and the structure of the main body and the branches follow the ancient tradition of referencing the central stem and branches of the Moriah plant, a species of Salvia growing in Israel and the Sinai Peninsula.

The size and the design of the object suggest that it belonged to a wealthy family or was a donation to a synagogue. Screws in the round base look newer; original screws could have been removed and replaced.
Materials/Techniquesbrass (alloy)
Measurements35.5 cm x 33 cm x 22 cm
ProvenanceGifted to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in 2018 by Marc Brasset. 

The donor's grandfather, Roelof Groeneboer (b. February 13, 1914, in Assen, the Netherlands, d. February 6, 1980 in Abbotsford, BC), received the Hanukkah lamp after the end of the Second World War as a gift of gratitude from for his help hiding two Jewish girls. Roelof was a minister in the Christian Reformed Church and had postings in Barchem, Wirdum and Weesp. During the Second World War, he did relief ministry and travelled to other parishes by bicycle. Roelof was active in the Dutch resistance helping Jews go into hiding, producing false ration cards and distributing food. He immigrated to Canada with his family in 1955. 
ClassificationHanukkah lamps
Legal Statuspermanent collection
Credit LineCourtesy of Marc Brasset
NoteBiographical information for Roelof (Ralph) Groneboer provided by Susan Rance. Information and sources about the style and typology of the Hanukkah lamp provided by Dr. Efrat El-Hanany.