A Pair of Bezalel Wall Sconces

    • Height:                12 Inches 
    • Width:                 7  Inches
    • Weight:               54.2 Total (oz)
    • Condition:          Good 
  • Fine & Rare Pair of Bezalel Jerusalem Brass and wood wall sconces. Circa 1915

    Hallmarks: "Sharar Bezalel" in Hebrew on each sconce. The Sharar workshop operated at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem from 1914 until 1929. Presented in brass relief mounted on wood in irregular octagon shape, this previously unknown Bezalel production showcases designs that combine classic Near Eastern elements and European decorative art fashions contemporary to the date of manufacture of our sconces. At top in a roundel is a scene from the Book of Numbers; the spies returning from the land of Canaan carrying a large cluster of grapes between them. The bottom half of the sconce has a marvelous, fantastical, even whimsical depiction of the sun and it's emanating rays. These rays are in a distinct late Art Nouveau / early Art Deco style, with a "Bezalel twist", as multiple Stars of Davis are shown in between the rays! The sun motif presented here was perhaps inspired by this Biblical verse: "The sun set, and it was very dark. Behold ---- there was a smoky furnace and a torch of fire which passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram" (Genesis 15: 17-18). Boris Schatz, the founder of the Bezalel School, was under considerable pressure from his benefactors in Berlin to incorporate "modern design" into his wares to make them more palatable (i.e., "sellable"), to the European market. This may account for this most unusual Bezalel object, it having a strong configuration of design elements previously mentioned. For market comparison, shown are a pair of Bezalel sconces from the December 13, 2006 auction of Sotheby's in New York. The estimate on this well known pair was $14,000 - $18,000. Indeed, at the 1983 Bezalel exhibit held in Israel, one of these sconces are pictured in their exhibition publication, also shown here. The sconces we are offering came to use from the Buenos Aires antique market. Our research has revealed that in 1926, a large, major Bezalel sale exhibition was held in Argentina, and in all likelihood, these sconces were purchased at that exhibit and remained in Argentina until we became aware of their availability for purchase. For the sophisticated Bezalel aficionado, these sconces would be an important focus, if not a centerpiece, of their collection.

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