Date of CreationUnknown, likely between the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century
Place of CreationUnknown
DescriptionItem is a brass temple lamp candle holder (menorah) with seven branches. 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 middle-class family. Candle holders are removable for cleaning.
Measurements24 cm x 19.5 cm x 10 cm (approximate)
ProvenanceGifted to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in 2019 by Peter N. Moogk.
The menorah belonged to Elsie Whitehead (b. circa 1901, d. circa 1980), an Austrian Jew, divorced by her gentile husband, who left Vienna for Canada before September 1939 as a refugee with two children. After the war, she became a member of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada, originally founded by the Austrian mystic and philosopher Rudolf Steiner early in the twentieth century.
Elsie Whitehead was a neighbour of Peter Moogk’s uncle and aunt, Virginia Moogk; they lived on Rochester Avenue in Toronto. Whitehead gave Moogk this menorah between 1962 and 1964, when he would visit her to discuss philosophy and other topics, including the ideas of the Jewish philosopher and theologian Martin Buber. Elsie Whitehead and Virginia Moogk were interested in art, philosophy and theology. Whitehead gave the menorah to Moogk after he noticed a similarity to the menorah carved in the Arch of Titus in Rome.
Classificationmenorahs (temple lamps)
Legal Statuspermanent collection
Credit LineCourtesy of Peter N. Moogk
NoteBiographical information about Elsie Whitehead provided by Peter N. Moogk.
Information and sources about the style and typology of the menorah lamp provided by Dr. Efrat El-Hanany.