Silver gilt Judaica Torah breast plate by Jacob Langleben, 1896
English, Late 19th Century
Height 62cm, width 25cm, depth 9cm
This superb antique piece is a large, Jewish Torah shield or breast plate, crafted in silver and decorated with parcel gilding. Dating to 1896, it was made in London by silversmith Jacob Langleben; pieces such as these are used demonstrate the utmost respect to the Torah, to hold and display the book between readings.
The Torah breast plate (or shield) is hallmarked for J.L, Jacob Langleben, London, 1896, while the hanging element with the name of the dedicatee engraved in Hebrew is hallmarked S.Z, for Sigmund Zyto, also of London. The shield features the 10 commandments in the centre in Hebrew, beneath a crown and framed on either side with a pair of lions. A removable gilt plaque below denotes Yom Kippur, able to be replaced with other markers for other religious days and festivals. A beautiful piece, it is a remarkable work of art, decorative sculpture, and antique Judaica piece.