‘Remarkable objects of the three . . . main religions’: Judaica in early modern European collections

‘Remarkable objects of the three . . . main religions’: Judaica in early modern European... Abstract The diverse collections of early modern Europe, housed in cabinets of curiosities and Kunstkammern, attempted to capture the wonder of the world through specimens of nature, classical and other artefacts, scientific instruments, works of art, and rare and curious objects from around the world. While it is known that they included objects of ethnographic interest from the New World, Africa, and Asia, the place of Judaica in these collections remains largely unknown and unexplored. This article presents an analysis of the collection and display of Jewish objects in Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Jewish objects occupied a unique place as a living illustration of Biblical antiquity; they, and the communities that created them, were understood in connection with the world of the Bible and ancient history. Jewish objects occupied a liminal space between Europe and the Orient, between familiar and foreign, and between past and present. ‘Now in Room no. 7, one should place remarkable objects of the three widespread main religions, which are filled with many ceremonies: the Papist, the Jewish, and the Turkish.’1 The wide-ranging and diverse court collections of early modern Europe attempted to capture the wonder of the world through specimens of nature, classical and other artefacts, scientific instruments, works of art, religious relics, and rare and curious objects from peoples around the world. While insightful attention has recently been paid to the regard for objects of exotic and ethnographic interest from the New World, Africa, the Levant, and Asia in early modern Kunstkammern, the place of Judaica in these collections and the extent of its inclusion remains largely unknown.2 In scholarship on Jewish museums, the beginning of the collection and exhibition of Judaica is often dated to the last quarter of the nineteenth century (especially with reference to the display of the Strauss collection at the Exposition Universelle in 1878, and the opening of the Jewish Museum in Vienna in 1895).3 Occasional traces can be seen in earlier periods: the German Court Jew, Alexander David of Halberstadt (1687–1765) built a residential complex in Braunschweig that included a synagogue and a room for the display of Jewish ceremonial art, manuscripts, and ritual objects; his collection, exceptional for his time, now forms part of the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum.4 But as a whole, Judaica has not been explored as a category of object relevant to early modern collecting practices. This article presents a preliminary analysis of the collection of Jewish objects by non-Jews in Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, and their contextual meaning within these displays. While Jewish objects were not acquired in any great number or in systematic fashion in early modern Europe, there are nonetheless consistent themes that structured how they were collected and displayed. Jewish objects were not seen as examples of great art, but rather were valued for their ability to illustrate the stories and teachings of the Bible, even though the vast majority of them came not from antiquity but from contemporary European Jewish communities. Thus, while some objects in the Wunderkammer provoked wonder by virtue of their great age and classical authenticity, and others by their exotic provenance in distant nations, Jewish objects were close to the early modern European viewer both temporally and geographically; they were, however, imagined to be imbued with distance of time and space, through the association of contemporary Jews with the Israelites of the Bible. This ‘Biblicizing’ of Jews and Judaism can be found already in medieval European art; in the context of the early modern period, it created a new interest in the material trappings of Judaism, leading to the earliest collections of Judaica intended to represent Judaism to a non-Jewish audience.5 At the same time, Jewish antiquities led to contact with contemporary Jews, both in the process of their acquisition and also in their subsequent interpretation, giving us a glimpse of how Jews might have participated in the pedagogical and intellectual aims fostered by the Kunstkammer. In general, foreign objects in early cabinets were characterized by what Daniela Bleichmar has termed ‘slipperiness’, with multiple categories of interpretation, belonging, and association. As Bleichmar writes, in her discussion of the Spanish Baroque collection of Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa (1607–1681): Geographical imprecision seems to have been the norm rather than the exception. And geography was not the only slippery category. Was the ivory horn in Lastanosa’s collection considered an antiquity or an exotic object? Or both, and if so, did it belong to both categories simultaneously, or did it move from one to the other depending on context? . . . How would the object signify, for seventeenth-century audiences, if it were not simply a rare horn but a rare horn that had once belonged to a king, somewhere far from Europe?6 Jewish objects too, as we shall see, moved between categories, geographies, and interpretations, depending on context and audience. Studying the Jewish object Before considering Jewish objects in early modern collections, we must first clarify what is meant by a Jewish object. Objects found in early modern Kunstkammern can be connected to Jews and Jewishness in a variety of ways – artistic depictions of Jews,7 objects made by Jews for Christian patrons,8 and objects acquired by Jews and presented to Christian patrons9 – but should all of them be included in an analysis of Judaica in early modern collections? Here I draw on scholars of material culture who consider as ‘Jewish’ all objects which either originated from a Jewish community or were intended for use within a Jewish community; I exclude, for example, depictions of Jews by non-Jewish artists, even though many such works were housed in Kunstkammern – a rich topic that has already received attention from other scholars.10 Joan Rosenbaum, in her directorship at the Jewish Museum in New York, described her work as dealing with ‘Jewish culture and all the material forms that relate to it.’11 Vanessa Ochs’s work on material culture and ritual presents a useful theoretical framework, arguing that curators of Jewish material culture should work with a non-hierarchical classification of objects as ‘explicitly Jewish’ or ‘implicitly Jewish’.12 Similarly, Aviva Müller-Lancet of the Israel Museum (Jerusalem) has suggested that dealing with the ‘Jewishness’ of material culture requires the application of three criteria: ownership (was it owned by Jews?), production (was it made by Jews?) and function (was it used by Jews?). She proposes a possible spectrum of material Jewishness: ritual objects, secular objects with ritual use, secular objects of a uniquely ‘Jewish’ form, and secular objects identified as Jewish via fieldwork, interlocutors, or research.13 Indeed, all of these types of objects can be encountered in early modern collections. We should also consider the inclusion of Hebrew books (in both manuscript and print) in our study of Jewish objects. Certainly, the great collectors of early modern Europe also amassed large libraries of scholarly texts, and many of them were especially interested in Hebrew books. The Fugger family, for example, was connected to a network of Sephardi Ottoman rabbis and Jewish scholars who copied and collected Hebrew scientific and rabbinic manuscripts for them and their patrons; the Fugger family’s personal collection of Hebrew manuscripts was acquired by the Vatican in 1623.14 The library of Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753), whose naturalia and artificialia formed the core of the British Museum, included thirteen Hebrew manuscripts; these were purchased by for the nation in 1753. They were joined at the museum by 130 Hebrew manuscripts from the collection of Robert Harley (1661–1724), and a few years later by 180 Hebrew books of King Charles II, donated by Solomon da Costa Athias in 1759 along with a Torah scroll and two medieval Hebrew Bible manuscripts.15 A number of universities and libraries, including El Escorial, the Vatican Library, and the Ambrosian Library, as well as some private collectors, also acquired numerous Hebrew books through the seizure of Jewish libraries and estates.16 While some collectors, like Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680), were also Hebraists and Biblical scholars, and so could study the Hebrew books they collected, others were interested in them also (or perhaps even primarily) for purposes of display. Cardinal Domenico Grimani (1461–1523), for example, could not read Hebrew, but displayed the Hebrew manuscripts he had purchased from the library of Pico della Mirandola to impress scholarly visitors like Erasmus.17 Johann Jakob Fugger (1516–1575) similarly had his Hebrew books bound in green leather to distinguish them from other books, and had to hire a local Jew to record their titles into the shelf lists.18 Sometimes, Hebrew manuscripts were even displayed within the Kunstkammer itself, mixed with other foreign books, statuary, and artefacts of classical antiquity; this was the case, for example, with the cabinet of Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519–1574).19 Bibles were especially prized by collectors, and many cabinets had among their displays a group of Bibles (both printed and in manuscript) in a variety of languages, including Hebrew.20 Although Samuel Quiccheberg (1529–1567) recommended in his treatise on museums that Hebrew books should be placed not in the Kunstkammer but in the library adjoining it, ‘equipped with books of every kind . . . in Hebrew and Greek, under which is also Greco-Latin; German, under which is also Dutch; then Italian, French, Spanish, etc., as many as one might wish to collect’, it seems that for at least some collectors Hebrew manuscripts were not only texts to be studied, but also artefacts to be placed in the collection alongside other ancient and exotic objects.21 For the purposes of our study, however, we will leave aside books in order to focus on other objects of Jewish life. Surveying the various kinds of Judaica to be found in cabinets of curiosities, we might divide the majority into four categories, each of which will be examined here in turn: objects relating to antiquity, objects relating to food and dietary practices, objects relating to prayer, and objects relating to the ritual of circumcision.22 Many of the items in question have suffered the common fate of early modern collections in having been dispersed. Their nature as mostly small household objects, rather than larger, exquisitely-crafted, and valuable works of art, no doubt accelerated their loss. While some Jewish objects remain today that can be traced with certainty to a particular collection, the bulk of the evidence reviewed in this paper comes from surviving inventories, printed catalogues, and travellers’ descriptions of visits to cabinets of curiosities. Of course, we must then rely on the explicit identification of objects in these texts as Jewish, either through a description of the object itself (e.g. ‘a bronze vessel with Hebrew lettering’) or of its use (e.g. ‘a knife used by the Jews for circumcision’). There is no doubt that many more objects that we might consider as Jewish existed in those collections but were not described as such, or were recorded in texts that have not survived or are otherwise inaccessible to us. At the same time, in many cases we cannot be sure of an object’s Jewish provenance solely from its surviving description, but can only comment on its ascribed or assumed Jewishness. This nonetheless provides useful information on what collectors and visitors knew – or thought they knew – about Jews and Judaism. Jewish antiquities The first category, that of objects from (or assumed to be from) antiquity, consists primarily of examples of the sheqel, or ancient Judean coins; I exclude here Christian religious relics from the Holy Land and objects claimed to relate to Biblical history such as stones from Mount Sinai, brimstone from Sodom, etc., as collected by many European antiquaries; nor do I include Temple models, although these are further discussed below.23 Examples of the coins in question appear already in some early sixteenth- and seventeenth-century collections, such as that of Benito Arias Montano (1527–1598), Ole Worm (1588–1654), Athanasius Kircher, and the Wittelsbachs in Munich.24 Although some may not consider these coins ‘Jewish’ objects – they might more technically be categorized as ‘Israelite’ or ‘Judean’ artifacts – they are included here for a number of reasons. First, and perhaps most importantly, ancient Israelites and the Jews of early modern Europe were intertwined in the minds of non-Jewish scholars and antiquaries. Yaacov Deutsch has observed that Hebraists and scholarly writers of the early modern period did generally differentiate between ancient Jews (whom they termed Hebrews or Israelites) and contemporary Jews.25 However, the treatment of Judaism in early collections demonstrates that contemporary Jews continued to be viewed as relevant to an understanding of how the Bible was reflected in Jewish religious practice, and how Jewish objects might be used as material illustrations of a Biblical past. Furthermore, many of the ‘ancient’ coins concerned were not in fact Judean sheqels but contemporary medallions. Much is still unknown about these ‘false sheqels’ or ‘imitation sheqels’ (sometimes called Görlitz shekels), which circulated in Europe in a number of variants from the fifteenth until the early twentieth century; scholars have suggested that some were made for use in the ceremony of Pidyon haBen [redemption of the firstborn], while others may have been copied for Christian pilgrims as relics of Judas’s thirty pieces of silver.26 Regardless of provenance, they were clearly included in early cabinets as antiquities, and were usually displayed with ancient Greek and Roman coins. They can be distinguished from ancient sheqels by the style of the Hebrew script: the ancient sheqel is inscribed with palaeo-Hebrew characters (often described in inventories as ‘Samaritan’), while the early modern sheqel medallions carry inscriptions in the modern form of square (‘Assyrian’) Hebrew script. This distinction is sometimes noted by collectors (such as Kircher) who were familiar with different forms of Hebrew script, while other collectors simply described the coins as Jewish, as with Ole Worm’s ‘Jewish cyclum [sheqel] . . . with a Hebrew inscription’.27 The English antiquary Ralph Thoresby (1658–1725) seems to have been aware of the circulation of modern sheqel medallions, since he writes that ‘the Hebrew [coins] are much depreciated by many, because of the Modern Shekels that the Jews affect to cast or stamp’ but goes on to describe two such medallions in his collection as genuine ancient sheqels.28 Occasionally, other contemporary Jewish objects were also described in terms relating them to antiquity. The Wittelsbach Kunstkammer in Munich had a table displaying Jewish objects ‘used in circumcision and worship’, which were described as alles anticalisch – ‘all ancient’ – despite the fact that they were almost certainly contemporary with the collection.29 Another object in the Munich Kunstkammer, a medieval Jewish betrothal ring, is described as ‘an old [alter] gold ring’ with an image of the Tabernacle.30 This ring (the only surviving Jewish object from the Munich collection) is indeed topped with a miniature castle or house, a symbol of the new home the couple will build together and perhaps an allusion to the Temple in Jerusalem. However, its description in the inventory, connecting it to the ancient Tabernacle, suggests that it was valued most of all for its connection to the ancient world of the Bible.31 As Barbara Marx has shown, the focus on classical antiquity as a display of intellectual, social, and economic superiority was a common feature of both Italian and German collectors, and she notes that the Wittelsbachs were particularly interested in collecting objects all’antica.32 Islamic objects, as well, were occasionally mistakenly associated with the classical world.33 But the blurred distinctions between ancient and modern Jews meant that Jewish objects in particular became vehicles for introducing the past to the present. Finally, these ancient objects are important in considering the place of Judaism in the Kunstkammer since they brought collectors and other scholars into contact with actual, contemporary Jews. Jewish scholars were needed to decipher the palaeo-Hebrew inscriptions on the ancient sheqels, and we have records of collaboration between European antiquaries and local rabbis and Jewish scholars in the study of Jewish antiquities, particularly coinage. One prominent example is that of the French antiquary Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580–1637), who cultivated a friendship with rabbis in Padua and in his native Carpentras, working with them to transcribe and translate the Hebrew inscriptions on ancient coins in his collection.34 Similarly, after the discovery in Norfolk in 1696 of a medieval bronze vessel with a Hebrew inscription, its owner, John Covel of Cambridge (1638–1722), consulted the Jewish scholar Isaac Abendana (c.1640–1699) in an attempt (unsuccessful) to decipher its inscription; one of the bowl’s eighteenth-century owners, Richard Rawlinson (1690–1755), also consulted with ‘several Learned Jews’ on the matter.35 These meetings and interactions testify to the involvement of Jews – if only on the margins – in the intellectual and scientific networks that were fostered by collectors and collections, especially regarding the knowledge of antiquity and the study of the ancient world. Objects relating to food Foreign kitchen utensils, cooking instruments, and even actual examples of food from peoples around the world were exhibited among other curiosities in the Wunderkammer; these items, along with other cultural markers (like shoes, items of clothing, musical instruments) were intended to stimulate amazement and present the ‘theatre of the world’ for intellectual and pedagogical purposes. This was especially true of smaller private collections that focused on unusual and exotic rarities rather than the extravagant and valuable artworks of royal and courtly collections. As examples, the ‘Ark’ of John Tradescant the Elder (c.1570–1638) at Lambeth included among its rarities ‘gourds, olives . . . a cheese’ and ‘Cassava Bread 2 Sorts’,36 while Ralph Thoresby’s collection in Leeds displayed ‘a Norway Cheese of Goat’s Milk, 5½ inches broad, odd waved in the Vat . . . Bread from the coasts of Barbary . . . Cassada-bread made of the Root of a Ricinus Americanus’.37 Thus, Jewish food could take its place alongside other strange and exotic foods from around the world, even though it was most likely obtained from local Jewish communities. But most importantly, the food most favoured was the one most closely linked to the Bible: the unleavened matza eaten on Passover. In Thoresby’s Leeds museum, next to the North African bread was ‘the Jews unleavened Cakes for the Passover, Don[ated by] D. Burrough Lond[on].’38 Similarly, the Oxford collection of John Pointer (1668–1754), which was catalogued c.1740 and later acquired by the Ashmolean, also contained ‘Jewish Passover cakes’.39 Other foodstuffs in cabinets of curiosities were described according to their place of origin, but in the case of these ‘Cakes’ it is their connection to the Jewish holiday which is their most salient feature. In other words, it seems that the rarity of these breads is attributable not to foreignness but to their ‘antiquity’, as demonstrated by their place in the celebration of Passover, as commanded by the Bible (e.g. Exodus 12), and continuing in the practice of modern Jews. Their presence in the cabinet allowed viewers to visualize Biblical history, through the material culture of contemporary Jews. One object related to Jewish food unusually references not the Bible, but the Talmud. A knife used for shehita (Jewish ritual slaughter) in the museum of Ferdinando Cospi (1606–1686) was described as ‘an ancient knife [coltello antico]’ with a carved ivory handle; the catalogue explains that ‘[the Jews] commonly have this kind of knife in order to slaughter, or as they say, “sagattare”, the animals: for it is prohibited to them by the Talmud to use for this ceremony knives with a point or that have dents on the edge. These are declared impure by the rabbis and the talmudists, and they prohibit animals killed with them or in a different way in these ceremonies.’40 While this is not connected to the Bible, it is nonetheless described (albeit inaccurately) as ancient, and placed in the company of other ancient weapons, and thus by extension similarly categorizes the Jews who continue to practice this arcane ritual. The discussion of the ‘Talmudists’ in particular may serve to highlight the ways in which European Christians saw Talmudic (i.e. rabbinic) Judaism as a strange and unusual deviation from the true Biblical religion.41 Objects relating to Jewish prayer While the table in the Wittelsbach collection in Munich was described by its cataloguer, Johann Baptist Fickler (1533–1610), as displaying ‘dishes and tools which the Jews have used in circumcision and worship’,42 the only object from the Munich collection which can be specifically tied to religious ceremony – apart from one circumcision basin in this group, about which see below – is a two-handled vessel with a Hebrew inscription, used for the ritual hand-washing (netilat yadayyim) before meals; it is not, however, explicitly identified as an object of Jewish ritual.43 Other material objects relating to prayer, however, were identified as such in other collections. In 1692 a shofar [ram’s horn] was acquired by the Ashmolean museum from the collection of the late Edward Pococke (1604–1691); the accession notes describe it as a ‘Jewish Trumpet made of a ram’s horn, which they blow morning and evening every day from the 1st to the 28th of August.’44 The reference is to the Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the New Year (Rosh haShana), and during which it is indeed traditional in many Jewish communities to blow the shofar daily; Elul generally falls during the late summer, although it is not always equivalent to the month of August. Another shofar was included in the Kunst- und Naturalienkammer of the Francke Foundations in Halle (Saale): ‘a horn which the Jews use at their festivals’, apparently donated to the collection by a Jewish convert to Christianity.45 While not explicitly linked to the Bible in the extant catalogue descriptions, it should be noted that the shofar is mentioned many times in the Hebrew Bible, and thus provides yet another way that Jewish objects could be used as illustrations of Biblical material culture.46 Several British cabinets included examples of tefillin, phylacteries worn during daily prayers. It was their handwritten Hebrew scrolls, usually included among other examples of foreign writing, that attracted most attention. The Tradescants’ Ark, for example, listed them as ‘Jewes Philacteries with the Commandements, writ in Hebrew.’47 Thoresby’s museum in Leeds also had ‘a Jewish Philactery in Hebrew, in a single Scroll of Parchment, with the four sentences of the Law’, alongside an incredible variety of scripts, papers, and writing implements: a porcupine quill pen, a Russian painted inkhorn, Mughal miniature paintings, Chinese bamboo paper, an Arabic letter from the Moroccan ambassador, and more.48 In the catalogue of the Royal Society’s collection, Nehemiah Grew (1641–1712) explicitly describes the scrolls through the lens of Biblical Judaism: A Jewishphylactery. This here is only a single scroll of Parchment, ¾ of an inch broad, and 15 inches long; with Four Sentences of the Law (viz. Exod. 13. from 7. to 11. and f. 13 to 17. Deut. 6 f. 3. to 10. and 11. f. 13. to 19.) most curiously written upon it in Hebrew. Serarius,49 from the Rabbies, saith, That they were written severally upon so many Scrolls. And that the Jews to this day, do wear them over their Foreheads in that manner. So that they are of several sorts or modes, whereof this is one. The original use of them, for Momento’s: grounded on that Command, And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine Hand, and they shall be as Frontlets between thine Eyes. But afterwards, served more for Ostentation. And at last, for Spells or Amulets. From whence also the use of Charms amongst Christians was first learn’d; and those who gave them called Phylacterii. Prohibited by the Council in Trullo.50 Here again, as with Cospi’s discussion of the sheḥita knife, artefacts of the contemporary Jewish community are used both to illustrate Biblical precepts and also to demonstrate the ways in which rabbinic Judaism had departed from its historical ancestor. Christian collectors, many of whom saw their collections as revealing the divine authorship of the natural world, described the Jewish objects in their collections in ways that distanced them from the actual Jews who created them, while simultaneously using the perceived authority of Jewish proximity to the Bible to lend these objects credibility and verisimilitude as illustrations of Biblical history. The Jews of early modern Europe were not the Jews of the Bible; and yet their practices, and their objects, were inextricably tied to it. Objects relating to circumcision These comprise objects relating to the ritual of circumcision, especially the shield (magen) used to hold the prepuce, and the knife (izmel) used for the circumcision itself; in one extraordinary and possibly unique example, the Royal Society listed in its 1731 inventory an actual foreskin taken from a Jewish boy.51 Objects relating to circumcision formed perhaps the most common examples of Jewish objects in the Kunstkammer, with examples in collections spanning much of Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Since the compilation of the New Testament, circumcision has been a locus for a variety of Christian-Jewish interaction, especially polemical; in early modern Europe, Jewish rituals of circumcision both fascinated and terrified Christian scholars, and they formed one of the most commonly described and illustrated aspects of Jewish life.52 Travellers’ accounts of Kunstkammern often explicitly reference these objects, such as ‘a stone [knife] with which the Jews circumcise their children’ among the rarities of the collection, suggesting that these objects were seen as particularly interesting, or were specially pointed out.53 In catalogues and inventories of collections, artefacts relating to circumcision are identified as such, but generally presented without commentary. It is thus difficult to determine whether their presence was intended as polemical – perhaps as part of the long antisemitic history of Christian, and especially Protestant, engagement with Jewish circumcision – or pedagogical, although it is likely that these objects carried different nuances for different viewers.54 The surviving references to objects of Jewish circumcision indicates that this ceremony – perhaps the primary example of a Biblical ritual practised by contemporary Jews – was an essential aspect of the representation of Judaism in the cabinet of curiosities. In some cases, they are explicitly identified as Jewish circumcision knives, but in other cases may be described only as Jewish – a circumcision knife in the Kunstkamera of Peter the Great, originally from the cabinet of the Scottish-Russian statesman Jakob Bruce (1669–1735), is described only as ‘a knife, with a silver and gilded amber handle, and a blade adorned with a Hebrew inscription’55 – and in some cases only as a circumcision knife with no mention of the Jews, as in the Tradescant collection: ‘a Circumcision-Knife of stone, and the instrument to take up the praeputium of silver.’56 In this case, we know from a later inventory of the Ashmolean that this silver ‘instrument’ (the magen, or ‘shield’) was inscribed in Hebrew with the name ‘David Aben [ibn] Attar,’ confirming its Jewish provenance.57 In other cases, like the circumcision knives catalogued in the cabinets of Ferdinand II (1529–1595) at Schloß Ambras and of Friedrich Wilhelm (1620–1688) in Berlin, we can only assume their Jewishness based on this pattern.58 Of course, it is still possible that some of these objects did not have actual Jewish provenance, but were misunderstood or misrepresented as Jewish circumcision knives. This would reinforce my assertion that the idea of these knives, and their power to represent this exotic, ancient, and terrifying Jewish practice, was a powerful and attractive one for collectors and visitors alike. The Munich Kunstkammer presents a particularly interesting dilemma in this regard. The 1598 inventory lists a number of objects under the heading of ‘Vessels and Tools used by the Jews in Circumcision and Worship’ – mostly brass basins, and a number of lamps, bottles, and other vessels. Only the first basin is described explicitly as connected to Jewish ritual: ‘a large, oval brass basin, over which the Jews circumcise their children.’59 Two bottles are identified as being ‘engraved in the Jewish style’ [jüdischer arbeit], while others are described as being decorated with flowers and scrollwork; several of the vessels are said to have inscriptions in ‘Syrian’ [syrischer] script, while others have ‘foreign’ [frembder] script. The editors of Fickler’s inventory argue that the ‘Syrian’ script refers to square Hebrew characters, often known as ‘Syrian’ or ‘Assyrian’ (as opposed to ancient Palaeo-Hebrew), while the ‘foreign’ script refers to Arabic.60 If so, we are presented with an amalgam of Jewish and Islamic vessels – did Fickler begin with cataloguing Jewish objects and then move on to the other ‘Oriental’ vessels because of their similar style – or were these objects purposefully displayed together? Was there a genuine confusion between Jewish and Islamic objects, or an indifference to their precise origin? And what was the origin of the Jewish objects (if indeed there were any): were they from the Islamic world – perhaps the Ottoman Empire or North Africa – or from local European communities? This lack of clarity is also apparent in visitors’ testimonies: in 1598, Duke Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1568–1636) described seeing ‘tools of Jewish sacrifice’ (instrumenta pro sacrificiis judaicis), apparently referring to this table, during his visit to the Wittelsbach Kunstkammer; conversely, Philipp Hainhofer (1578–1647) described it in 1611 as ‘one table [with] large and small damascene dishes, chests, vessels, pots, and basins, inlaid with silver . . . artistically beautiful Turkish work’.61 In 1623, Prince Christian II of Anhalt-Bernburg (1599–1656) recorded his impression of this table as displaying ‘ancient vessels of copper, inlaid with silver, which were used in the Old Testament for circumcision’ – a perfect example of the fluidity of perceptions of Jewish practice between ancient and contemporary history.62 Jewish or Muslim? Modern or ancient? The mix of time and geography that characterizes these reports demonstrates that visitors understood these objects in a diversity of ways, and that the significance of objects often lay in what they represented, in addition to (or perhaps beyond) what they were. Some present-day scholars dismiss the Jewishness of this display altogether: Jeremy Warren notes ‘the supposed use of Islamic metalwork basins by Jews in the ceremony of circumcision’ and calls the Duke of Brunswick ‘credulous’ for believing the objects to be Jewish, rather than Hainhofer’s ‘more accurate’ description of them as Turkish.63 Similarly, Barbara Staudinger asserts that ‘most probably, the objects on display were neither antique nor Jewish: today it is known that their origin was to be found in the Islamic or oriental world.’64 This is most likely the case, and I am not suggesting that we take the Duke of Brunswick at his word; with the dispersal and loss of the objects from this table, we may never know precisely what they were. Nonetheless, it is clear that despite their provenance, they were identified and perceived as Jewish, and linked explicitly to circumcision and Jewish ritual, both by the officials cataloguing the collection and by visitors to it. Excursus i: the Juden-Cabinet In all these examples, even when Judaica was explicitly identified as connected to the Jewish community in some way, items appear as isolated objects or occasionally as small groups of objects, but they were never collected or displayed in a systematic fashion, intended to represent or describe Judaism as a whole (in the way that the natural collections attempted to create taxonomies). In the eighteenth century, however, a specific focus on religious objects emerged. One German guide for creating a Kunstkammer, Der Geöffnete Ritter-Platz, published in 1704 by Leonhard Christoph Sturm (1669–1719), advises that: Now in Room no. 7, one should place remarkable objects of the three widespread main religions [Haupt-Religionen] which are filled with many ceremonies: the Papist, the Jewish, and the Turkish . . . From the Jewish religion, one should collect their Phylacteria, or Commemorative-Boxes, which they bind in leather cases with straps on their heads and hands; circumcision knives; beautiful copies of the Law, which have been used in their synagogues; the cloths which they spread over their heads in prayer, and so on.65 A number of eighteenth-century collections did in fact create specialized displays of remarkable religious objects from around the world. The Kunst- und Naturalienkammer in Halle, created in the first decades of the 1700s by August Hermann Francke (1663–1727) as part of the educational programme of his charitable foundation, included a cabinet devoted to ‘sacred things from foreign religions’, although it contained only one Jewish object (the shofar mentioned earlier); the display also included a model of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, a ‘Turkish’ circumcision knife, an image of Confucius, a Peruvian statue of the god Huitzilopochtli (‘Bizlipuzli’), and several ancient Roman and Egyptian idols.66 In other contexts, specific collections emerged with the aim of representing Judaism to a non-Jewish audience, usually including both models of the ancient Temple of Solomon and objects representing a contemporary Jewish synagogue.67 The first such ‘model synagogue’ was built in Greifswald in 1708 by a Jewish convert to Christianity, Christoph Wallich, for the Lutheran theologian Johann Friedrich Mayer (1719–1798). According to Wallich’s catalogue, its contents included not only a full range of furnishings, with Torah scrolls and all their accoutrements inside an aron qodesh, sedaqa boxes, mizraḥ plaques, and even a life-size stuffed rabbi-figure (!) wearing tallit and tefillin; also shown were a wide variety of Jewish ritual objects – an Esther scroll, a shofar, a mezuzah, a lulav and etrog, a havdala set, a ketubah and a get, circumcision implements, amulets, and a number of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books.68 Other similarly educational Judaica collections were constructed in Regensburg by Georg Serpilius (1668–1723), inspiring a second model synagogue there built by ‘several notable members of the praiseworthy group of local merchants’, and a further one at the University of Uppsala.69 The Greifswald ‘synagogue’ was eventually acquired by the University of Leipzig, and then in 1732 by the court of Friedrich Augustus the Strong (1670–1733) in Dresden, where it was put on display in the Kunstkammer of the Zwinger palace, along with a large seventeenth-century model of the Temple. Interestingly, for the next several decades it was overseen by a Jewish curator, one Isaac Löbel, who petitioned in 1769 for an exemption from the ‘Jewish taxes’ in Saxony on the basis of his service.70 The Juden-Cabinet was apparently one of the highlights of the Dresden Kunstkammer, and numerous travellers’ accounts record their marvelling at its accuracy and impressive scope, up to the point of its dissolution in the 1830s.71 While the majority of the contents of the Juden-Cabinet were lost, some traces have survived: the wooden Temple model is currently in the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, and an Esther scroll that was copied from the original during the Juden-Cabinet’s transfer to the Zwinger remains today in the Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig. In some ways, the themes of the Juden-Cabinet represented a continuation of how Judaism was presented in collections and cabinets of curiosities in previous centuries: the intermingling of ancient and modern artefacts, the particular interest in Jewish rituals of prayer and circumcision, and the belief that Biblical history was alive in the artefacts of contemporary Judaism. When Anders Norrelius (1677–1749), librarian of the University of Uppsala, requested funds for the purpose of assembling a collection of Judaica, he explained to the chancellor that he had used these Jewish objects successfully in his own teaching, and argued that ‘such objects can only be wrung from the Jews by pleas and payment. Yet they are vital in a [model] synagogue and serve to explain both the Old and New Testaments in very many places.’72 But at the same time, the model synagogue was also an innovation that emerged to serve novel educational and polemical functions – in Greifswald, explicitly aimed ‘to show the Jews their superstition . . . and with God’s grace to bring a Jew to the awareness of Jesus Christ.’73 These ‘model synagogues’ were focused not just on presenting a few rare or curious Jewish artefacts but on bringing contemporary Judaism to life, even going so far as to include life-size Jewish mannequins. Indeed, Korey argues that the century-long presentation of the model synagogue in the Dresden Kunstkammer (where it stood on display from 1734 to 1836), should be regarded as ‘the first Jewish museum in the world open to a broad public.’74 Excursus ii: Jewish cabinets Another question that remains unexplored is the role of Jewish merchants and wealthy Court Jews (Hofjuden) in financing, supplying, and furnishing Kunstkammern. As Vivian Mann has noted, several Court Jews may served as art dealers to royal patrons, and even presented some artefacts to royal collections themselves.75 A number of scholars have also demonstrated the central role of Jewish merchants in supplying European courts with luxury objects, including diamonds, coral, and ‘unicorn’ horns.76 In this way, even the collection of non-Jewish objects may have been shaped by the personal or communal interests of Jewish suppliers. We might ask, then, to what extent did these practices of collecting influence Jewish communities? One example might be the private collections of Court Jews and other wealthy Jewish merchants, some of whom are known to have collected and displayed not only secular art but Judaica as well. The Court Jew Alexander David of Brunswick, as mentioned, was known to have a ‘treasure house’ of art and Judaica in his home, open to the public, which Cecil Roth termed the first Jewish museum.77 Similarly, the élite Dutch Sephardim in Amsterdam took pride in displaying their collections of artistic rarities and antiquities, which included Jewish objects, in their luxurious salons, dining rooms, and gardens: inventories of Jewish homes in Amsterdam reveal a variety of items of Judaica, including Sabbath and Hanukkah lamps, embroidered Torah mantles, paintings of Biblical scenes and the Amsterdam synagogue, maps of the Holy Land, and Hebrew prayer-books with golden and silver covers.78 It is true that, as Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld observes, these examples of Judaica ‘formed a minority among the objects and paintings inside, [and] were indiscriminately alternated with objects and paintings containing non-religious themes.’79 Thus it seems that while Jewish objects were seen as important material elements of ethnic and religious pride for Dutch Sephardim, and prized as collectible objects of art, they were displayed to the public (both Jewish and non-Jewish) alongside other examples of ceramics, metalwork, and foreign exotica. Another place to look might be synagogues themselves, which also amassed considerable collections of Judaica. An inventory of the Portuguese synagogue of Amsterdam in 1640, for example, lists close to 400 objects owned communally or by the synagogue’s members, including elaborate gold and silver finials; Torah scrolls with ebony, ivory, and silver-plated wooden rollers; coral pointers; copper lamps and candlesticks; ‘a glass cupboard with Venetian blinds for prayer-books’;80 and colourful fabric mantles and curtains of North African, Turkish, Brazilian, Russian, and even Chinese provenance.81 Not only were these objects used regularly by the community but they were admired by non-Jewish visitors: the English writer John Evelyn (1620–1706), for example, records in 1641 that he ‘procur’d to be brought to a Synagogue of the Jewes (it being then Saturday) whose Ceremonies, Ornaments, Lamps, Law, and Scholes afforded matter for my wonder and enquiry,’ and the services in the Portuguese synagogue of Amsterdam were portrayed by a number of Dutch artists.82 Given the regular presence of non-Jewish visitors to this rich visual landscape, we might wonder whether we could consider this, too, a Jewish museum or cabinet of sorts. It is thus particularly curious that non-Jewish Dutch collectors seem to have had so little interest in Judaica. Some eighteenth-century Dutch theologians and professors did collect Temple models and antiquities relating to the Bible, although little survives from these collections; in the early nineteenth century some remnants of the architectural furnishings of a Temple model, as well as two mezuzot, from the collection of Sebaldus Rau (1724–1818), were acquired by the Protestant minister Leendert Schouten (1828–1905) and displayed with a number of other examples of nineteenth-century Judaica in his Bijbels Museum (which still exists in Amsterdam today).83 More research is needed to trace what kinds of Judaica, if any, were circulating in non-Jewish collections in the Low Countries. Conclusion For over two centuries, European collectors of all classes acquired and displayed Judaica among their cabinets of rare and curious objects. While they left little information about their motivations for collecting these objects or even their perceptions of where they belonged in the epistemological schema of the Kunstkammer, from the surviving evidence we can offer several deductions. First, the types of objects collected indicates that Judaica was seen as a way of visually or materially representing the Biblical text, just as other areas of the Kunstkammer illustrated the ‘book of nature’ or the ‘book of history’. This served both pedagogical purposes (allowing Christians to learn more about other faiths, as well as the roots of their own tradition) and polemical ones (aiding in the demonstration of ‘Jewish follies’ and promoting the conversion of Jews to Christianity).84 Second, Jews were perceived as an exotic people whose objects could offer a window into their traditions and lifecycle, unlike Islamic objects, which (until the eighteenth century) were collected as art, or as trophies, but not as explicitly ethnographic exemplars.85 And finally, Jewish objects occupied a liminal space between past and present, between art and history, and between Europe and the Orient. We are still left with many questions. Were these objects sought out by collectors, or did they make their way into collections by happenstance? In most cases, we know very little about where and how they were obtained. The circumcision shield in the Tradescant collection seems to have been of Sephardic origin (judging by both its form and the inscribed name, ‘David Aben Attar’): was this obtained from one of the many wealthy Dutch Sephardi merchants who were beginning to settle in England in this period? Or was it in fact of North African or Mediterranean provenance? The circumcision knife in Jakob Bruce’s collection is inscribed with Polish names, which seems to imply a connection with local or semi-local Jewish communities.86 And the Munich table presents its own set of problems in trying to tease out the exact nature and origins of these various Jewish/Oriental objects. How and why were these objects collected? There is still much to learn about the role that Judaism and Judaica played in the world of collecting in early modern Europe, and no doubt there remain many objects hiding in unpublished inventories and un-researched collections. While Judaica was not a major concern of most collectors, it is nonetheless clear that engaging with Jewish objects was an expected practice for visitors that involved the interpretation of Judaism as holding ethnographic, antiquarian, and religious interest. At once familiar and foreign, the shifting meanings of Jewish objects emerged from the process of knowledge-making that was an inherent part of the intellectual experience of the Kunstkammer. Acknowledgements I am grateful for generous feedback from Dr Ivana Horacek, for whom this paper was originally conceived, and that of Dr Vivian Mann, who commented on an earlier draft. Dr Dora Thornton of the British Museum revealed herself to be the insightful reviewer of this article and I thank her for her considerate and careful reading and for sharing her own work in advance of publication. I also owe my thanks to Drs Thomas Kuster (Schloß Ambras Innsbruck), Inga Elmqvist-Söderlund (Stockholm University), Lia Markey (Newberry Library), Jessica Keating (Carleton College), Mirjam Knotter and Julie-Marthe Cohen (Joods Cultureel Kwartier, Amsterdam), Anne Kahnt (Franckesche Stiftungen zu Halle), and Eric Jorink (Leiden University), who responded patiently and kindly to various and sundry queries. Any remaining errors are mine alone. Notes and references 1 L. C. Sturm, Die geöffnete Raritäten- und Naturalien-Kammer (Hamburg, 1705), p. 42. 2 For some examinations of exotica and ‘ethnographica’ in Kunstkammern, see inter alia: J. Raby, ‘Exotica from Islam’, in The Origins of Museums: The cabinet of curiosities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, ed. O. Impey and A. MacGregor (Oxford, 1985), pp. 251–8; C. Feest, ‘The collecting of American Indian artifacts in Europe, 1493–1750’, in America in European Consciousness, 1493–1750, ed. K. O. Kupperman (Chapel Hill, 1995), pp. 324–60; C. Johnson, ‘Stone gods and Counter-Reformation knowledges’, in Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, objects, and texts, 1400–1800, ed. P. H. Smith and B. Schmidt (Chicago, 2008), pp. 233–47; E. Bujok, ‘Ethnographica in early modern Kunstkammern and their perception’, Journal of the History of Collections 21 (2009), pp. 17–32; J. Keating and L. Markey, ‘“Indian” objects in Medici and Austrian-Habsburg inventories: a case-study of the sixteenth-century term’, Journal of the History of Collections 23 (2010), pp. 1–18; D. Bleichmar, ‘Seeing the world in a room: looking at exotica in early modern collections’, in Collecting across Cultures: Material exchanges in the early modern Atlantic world, ed. D. Bleichmar and P. C. Mancall (Philadelphia, 2011), pp. 15–30; A. Byrne, Geographies of the Romantic North: Science, antiquarianism, and travel, 1790–1830 (New York, 2013), pp. 83–104. 3 See, e.g., see G. C. Grossman, Judaica at the Smithsonian: Cultural politics as cultural model, ed. G. C. Grossman and R. E. Ahlborn (Washington, dc, 1997), pp. 4–16; T. Metzler, ‘Collecting community: the Berlin Jewish Museum as narrator between past and present, 1906–1939’, in Visualizing and Exhibiting Jewish Space and History, ed. R. I. Cohen (Oxford, 2012), pp. 55–79. More recently, the subject has been touched upon by Dora Thornton, ‘Baron Ferdinand Rothschild’s sense of family origins and the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum’, Journal of the History of Collections online, doi:10.1093/jhc/fhx052. 4 R. I. Cohen, Jewish Icons: Art and society in modern Europe (Berkeley, 1998), p. 190; V. Mann, Jewish Texts on the Visual Arts (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 86–9. 5 For the elision of ancient and contemporary Jews in medieval art, see V. Mann, Uneasy Communion: Jews, Christians, and the altarpieces of medieval Spain (New York, 2010), pp. 76–127. 6 Bleichmar, op. cit. (note 2), p. 19. 7 V. Mann, ‘A Court Jew’s silver cup’, Metropolitan Museum Journal 43 (2008), pp. 132–3. 8 A. Swersky, ‘The Choschen presented by the Jews of Prague to Kaiser Rudolf II’, Jewellery Studies 4 (1990), pp. 33–6. 9 E. Jorink, Reading the Book of Nature in the Dutch Golden Age, 1575–1715 (Leiden, 2010), p. 295. 10 Such studies include: Cohen, op. cit. (note 4); D. Katz, The Jew in the Art of the Italian Renaissance (Philadelphia, 2008); and M. Merback, Beyond the Yellow Badge: Anti-Judaism and antisemitism in medieval and early modern visual culture (Leiden, 2008). 11 J. Rosenbaum, ‘Introduction’, in Treasures of the Jewish Museum, ed. N. L. Kleeblatt and V. Mann (New York, 1986), p. 9. 12 V. Ochs, Inventing Jewish Ritual (Philadelphia, 2007), p. 101. 13 A. Müller-Lancet, Garments with a Message: Jewish clothing in Islamic lands (Jerusalem, 2010), pp. 35–47. 14 R. Morrison, ‘A scholarly intermediary between the Ottoman Empire and Renaissance Europe’, Isis 105 no. 1 (2014), pp. 54–6. 15 D. Goldstein, ‘Charles II’s Hebrew books’, British Library Journal 21 no. 1 (1995), pp. 23–5; I. Tahan, ‘The Hebrew collection of the British Library: past and present’, European Judaism: A Journal for the New Europe 41 no. 2 (2008), pp. 44–6. 16 S. Burnett, Christian Hebraism in the Reformation Era (1500–1660): Authors, books, and the transmission of Jewish learning (Leiden, 2012), pp. 180–1. 17 M. Lowry, ‘Two great Venetian libraries in the age of Aldus Manutius’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 57 (1974), p. 149; Burnett, op. cit. (note 16), p. 184. 18 Burnett, op. cit. (note 16), p. 173. 19 C. Conti, La prima reggia di Cosimo I de’ Medici nel Palazzo già della signoria di Firenze (Florence, 1893), p. 196. 20 As an example, see R. Thoresby, Museum Thoresbyanum, or a Catalogue of the antiquities and of the natural and artificial rarities preserved in the repository of Ralph Thoresby (London, 1713), pp. 501–13. 21 As translated by M. Meadow, The First Treatise on Museums: Samuel Quiccheberg’s Inscriptiones, 1565 (Los Angeles, 2013), p. 71. With regard to the exotic and mysterious allure of Hebrew manuscripts, see Keating and Markey, op. cit. (note 2), p. 1, who mention an inventory that catalogues a Hebrew manuscript (or manuscripts?) as ‘Indian’, but I have been unable to trace this tantalizing reference. 22 This is, in fact, parallel to what Deutsch argues are the main areas of Christian scholarly and literary focus on Jewish life, as shown by the three main chapters of his book: ethnographic accounts of Jewish prayer, circumcision rituals, and Jewish dietary practices: Y. Deutsch, Judaism in Christian Eyes: Ethnographic descriptions of Jews and Judaism in early modern Europe (Leiden, 2012). 23 On coins and numismatics in Kunstkammern generally, see J. Cunnally, Images of the Illustrious: The numismatic presence in the Renaissance (New Haven, 1999); and J. Helmrath, ‘Die Aura der Kaisermünze: Bild-Text-Studien zur Historiographie der Renaissance und zur Entstehung der Numismatik als Wissenschaft’, in Medien und Sprachen humanistischer Geschichtsschreibung (Berlin, 2009), pp. 99–138. On artefacts of ‘Biblical’ history in Dutch collections, see E. Jorink, ‘Noah’s Ark restored (and wrecked): Dutch collectors, natural history and the problem of Biblical exegesis’, in Silent Messengers: The circulation of material objects of knowledge in the early modern Low Countries (Berlin, 2011), pp. 153–84. 24 O. Worm, Museum Wormianum, seu, Historia rerum rariorum (Leiden, 1655), p. 359; G. de Sepibus, Romani Collegii Societatis Iesu Musaeum Celeberrimum (Amsterdam, 1678), p. 48; Z. Shalev, ‘Sacred geography, antiquarianism and visual erudition: Benito Arias Montano and the maps in the Antwerp Polyglot Bible’, Imago Mundi 55 (2003), pp. 56–60; D. Diemer et al. (eds), Die Münchner Kunstkammer (Munich, 2008), vol. i, p. 252. 25 Y. Deutsch, ‘“A view of the Jewish religion”: conceptions of Jewish practice and ritual in early modern Europe’, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 3 (2001), pp. 276–7. 26 I. Rezak, ‘Genuine imitations: Jewish use of pseudo-coins’, Israel Numismatic Journal 15 (2006), pp. 152–69; H. Gitler, ‘The thirty pieces of silver: a modern numismatic perspective’, in Valori e disvalori simbolici delle monete: I Trenta denari di Giuda, ed. L. Travaini (Rome, 2009), pp. 63–78. 27 Worm, op. cit. (note 24), p. 359. In this case, Worm’s description of the imagery (‘on one side, a thurible; on the other, Aaron’s flowering rod’) confirms that this is the pseudo-sheqel rather than an ancient example. A similar description of a pseudo-sheqel as simply ‘a Hebrew sheqel’ is in Fickler’s Munich inventory, Diemer et al., op. cit. (note 24), vol. i, p. 252. 28 Thoresby, op. cit. (note 20), p. 275. For recent discussion of a sheqel in the collection of another eighteenth-century English collector, Philip Barton (d. 1765), see William Poole, ‘Barton’s coins: eighteenth-century numismatics in New College, Oxford’, Journal of the History of Collections online, doi:10.1093/jhc/fhx048. 29 P. Diemer, D. Diemer, and E. Bujok (eds), Johann Baptist Fickler: das Inventar der Münchner herzoglichen Kunstkammer von 1598 (Munich, 2004), p. 53. 30 , p. 97. 31 A number of these medieval ‘house rings’ survive, although the Munich ring is the only one known to have been displayed in an early modern collection. Diemer et al., op. cit. (note 24), vol. ii, p. 308; V. Mann, ‘Medieval Jewish wedding rings’, in Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every people under Heaven, ed. B. D. Boehm and M. Holcomb (New York, 2016), pp. 144–6. The Munich ring survives today in the Residenz München Schatzkammer. 32 B. Marx, ‘Wandering objects, migrating artists: the appropriation of Italian Renaissance art by German courts in the sixteenth century’, in Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe, vol. iv:Forging European Identities, 1400–1700, ed. H. Roodenburg (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 178–226, esp. p. 204. 33 Raby, op. cit. (note 2), p. 254. 34 P. Miller, ‘The mechanics of Christian-Jewish intellectual conversation in seventeenth-century Provence: N.-C. Fabri de Peiresc and Salomon Azubi’, in Hebraica Veritas? Christian Hebraists and the study of Judaism in early modern Europe, ed. A. Coudert and J. S. Shoulson (Philadelphia, 2004), pp. 71–101. Some Jews even helped in the identification and translation of Arabic inscriptions on Islamic coins; see P. Miller, ‘Peiresc and the study of Islamic coins in the early seventeenth century’, Princeton University Library Chronicle 69 no. 2 (2008), pp. 315–87. 35 Quote from D. Tovey’s Anglia Judaica (Oxford, 1738), p. 248. For Covel and Abendana, see I. Abrahams, ‘A note on the Bodleian Bowl’, Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England 5 (1905), pp. 184–92. The ‘Bodleian Bowl’ was bequeathed to the Bodleian Library by Rawlinson; it is currently housed in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. 36 The first quote is from Stirn’s 1638 account, as quoted in H. Hager, ‘Appendix ii to review of Schaible, Geschichte der Deutschen in England von den ersten germanischen ansiedlungen in Britannien bis zum ende des 18. Jahrhunderts’, Englische Studien 10 (1885), p. 450; the second is from J. Tradescant, Musaeum Tradescantianum, or, A collection of rarities preserved at South-Lambeth neer London (London, 1656), p. 43. 37 Thoresby, op. cit. (note 20), pp. 477–8. 38 Ibid., p. 477 39 R. Gunther, Early Science in Oxford, vol. iii (Oxford, 1925), p. 522. 40 L. Legati, Museo Cospiano annesso a quello del famoso Ulisse Aldrovandi e donato alla sua Patria dall’ illustrissimo Signor Ferdinando Cospi (Bologna, 1677), p. 239. I thank Dr Stefania Silvestri for her assistance with the Italian. 41 E. Carlebach, ‘The status of the Talmud in early modern Europe,’ in Printing the Talmud: From Bomberg to Schottstein, ed. S. L. Mintz (New York, 2006), pp. 79–89; A. Grafton, ‘The Jewish book in Christian Europe: material texts and religious encounters’, in Faithful Narratives: Historians, religion, and the challenge of objectivity, ed. A. Sterk and N. Caputo (Ithaca, 2014), pp. 96–114. 42 Diemer et al., op. cit., (note 29) p. 53. 43 Ibid., p. 178. Although it appears later in the inventory, no. 2255, Diemer notes that it ‘apparently belongs with the group of Jewish vessels, nos. 199–203’: Diemer et al., op. cit., (note 24), vol. ii, p. 692. 44 Gunther, op. cit. (note 39), p. 450. 45 According to its online inventory record, r no. 0419, available online at http://www.francke-halle.de/einrichtungen-a-2001.html. I thank Anne Kahnt at the Franckesche Stiftungen zu Halle for her assistance in locating this object record. 46 As a comparison, it might be noted that the first object acquired by Cyrus Adler for the National Museum [now the Smithsonian Institution] in his role as Assistant Curator of Oriental Antiquities was the donation of a shofar belonging to his own grandfather, Leopold Sulzberger. This shofar was first displayed in 1889 in an exhibition on Biblical antiquities mounted in honour of the inauguration of President Benjamin Harrison; see G. C. Grossman, op. cit. (note 3), p. 105, and S. W. Holloway, ‘The Smithsonian Institution’s religious ceremonial objects and biblical antiquities exhibits at the World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1893) and the Cotton States and International Exposition (Atlanta, 1895)’, in Orientalism, Assyriology and the Bible, ed. S. W. Holloway (Sheffield, 2006), pp. 95–138. 47 Tradescant, op. cit. (note 36), p. 43. 48 Thoresby, op. cit. (note 20), pp. 499–500. 49 Nicholas Serarius (1555–1605), a French Jesuit scholar and Hebraist, professor at the University of Mainz. 50 N. Grew, Musaeum Regalis Societatis, or a catalogue and description of the natural and artificial rarities belonging to the Royal Society and preserved at Gresham College (London, 1681), p. 377 (italics in original). 51 Inventory of the Royal Society (1731), ms 417, Repository Catalogue d, fasc. 3, ‘Parts of Human Bodies and their Anatomy’. The inventory notes that the boy was circumcised at ten years of age, hence this probably refers to a child of a Portuguese New Christian family who was returning to Judaism, as was common in the early eighteenth century. I thank Dr Aron Sterk for providing me with this example and explanation. 52 E. Frojmovic, ‘Christian travelers to the circumcision: early modern representations’, in The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite, ed. E. W. Mark (Waltham, ma, 2003), pp. 128–37; Deutsch, op. cit. (note 22), pp. 122–74; Y. Deutsch, ‘Religious rituals and ethnographic knowledge: sixteenth-century descriptions of circumcision’, Knowledge and Religion in Early Modern Europe: Studies in honor of Michael Heyd, ed. A. Ben-Tov, Y. Deutsch, and T. Herzig (Leiden, 2013), pp. 119–34. 53 This quote is from the German traveller Justus Zinzerling’s visit to the cabinet of a church official in Tours, Itinerarium Galliae, ita accommodatum, ut eius ductu mediocri tempore tota Gallia (Lyon, 1616), p. 113. Similar remarks regarding Jewish circumcision knives are made in the record of Stirn’s visit to Lambeth in 1638 (Hager, op. cit. (note 36), p. 450) and Kaspar Friedrich Jencquel’s account of Lodovico Moscardo’s Verona collection, in his Museographia (Leipzig, 1727), pp. 124–5. 54 See especially Frojmovic, op. cit. (note 52), pp. 140–1, but cf. Deutsch, op. cit. (note 22), pp. 167–8. 55 Musei Imperialis Petropolitani (St Petersburg, 1741), p. 200. The ‘Hebrew inscription’ is the blessing for circumcision, so the function of the knife is obvious; L. Jakolewna, ‘Bernstein in der Petrinischen Kunstkammer’, in Palast des Wissens: Die Kunst- und Wunderkammer Zar Peters des Großen (Munich, 2003), p. 262. 56 Tradescant, op. cit. (note 36), p. 43. Stirn’s manuscript account of his visit to the Tradescant museum, now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (ms Add. b. 67), includes a drawing of this item: see A. MacGregor (ed.), Tradescant’s Rarities. Essays on the foundation of the Ashmolean Museum, 1683 (Oxford, 1983), p. 355 no. 438, pl. clxxii. 57 According to the ‘Book of the Dean of Christ Church’, c.1685, transcribed in A. MacGregor, Manuscript Catalogues of the Early Museum Collections, 1683–1886, Parti (Oxford, 2000), p. 37; the original object is now lost. 58 W. Boeheim, ‘Urkunden und Regesten aus der k. k. Hofbibliothek (Inventar des Nachlasses Erzherzog Ferdinands II. in Ruhelust, Innsbruck und Ambras vom 30. Mai 1596)’, Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 7 no. 2 (1888), p. 295; O. Reichl, ‘Zur Geschichte der ehemaligen Berliner Kunstkammer’, Jahrbuch der Preußischen Kunstsammlungen 51 (1930), p. 247. It is possible, of course, that these knives were in fact of Islamic origin, but these seem to be exceedingly rare; Islamic circumcision knives are mentioned as an item to be collected in Sturm’s Geöffnete Ritter-Platz, op. cit. (note 1), p. 42, but I can find only one actual example: a ‘Türckische Beschneide-Messer’, in the Kunstkammer of the Francke Foundations, Halle. See T. Müller-Bahlke, Die Wunderkammer: Die Kunst- und Naturalienkammer der Franckeschen Stiftungen zu Halle (Saale) (Halle, 1998), p. 43. 59 Diemer et al., op. cit. (note 24), vol. i, p. 53. 60 Ibid., vol. i, p. 70. Indeed, it seems that the only surviving object from this display is a Mamluk bowl with an Arabic inscription; see B. Staudinger, Die jüdische Welt und die Wittelsbacher (Munich, 2007), p. 17. 61 Diemer et al., op. cit. (note 24), vol. iii, pp. 366, 371. 62 Ibid., vol. iii, p. 378. 63 J. Warren, ‘Review of Dorothea Diemer, Peter Diemer, Lorenz Seelig, Peter Volk, Brigitte Volk-Knüttel et al., Die Münchner Kunstkammer’, Journal of the History of Collections 22 (2010), pp. 155–7. 64 Staudinger, op. cit. (note 60), p. 17. 65 Sturm, op. cit. (note 1), p. 42. 66 Müller-Bahlke, op. cit. (note 58), p. 43. 67 On early modern models of the Temple, see A. K. Offenberg, ‘Jacob Jehuda Leon (1602–1675) and his model of the Temple’, in Jewish-Christian Relations in the Seventeenth Century, ed. J. van den Berg and E.G. van der Wall (Dordrecht, 1988), pp. 95–115; R. Busch, ‘Johan Lund, seine “Alten Jüdischen Heiligtümer” und die Vorstellung vom Salomonischen Tempel’, Jewish Art 19/20 (1994), pp. 62–7; J. Sheehan, ‘Temple and tabernacle: the place of religion in early modern England’, in Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, ed. P. H. Smith and B. Schmidt (Chicago, 2007), pp. 248–341; and K. Whitmer, ‘The model that never moved: the case of a virtual memory theater and its Christian philosophical argument, 1700–1732’, Science in Context 23 no. 3 (2010), pp. 289–327. 68 C. Wallich, Die Mayerische Synagoga in Greiffswalde (Greifswald, 1708); cf. M. Korey, ‘Displaying Judaica in 18th century Central Europe: a non-Jewish curiosity’, in Visualizing and Exhibiting Jewish Space and History, ed. R. I. Cohen (Oxford, 2012), pp. 25–54; and N. Feuchtwanger-Sarig, ‘Synagoga Christiana: the “Mayerische Synagoga in Greiffswalde” reconstructed’, in Die Greifswalder Lehrsynagoge Johann Friedrich Mayers: Ein Beispiel christlicher Rezeption des Judentums im 18. Jahrhundert, ed. C. Böttrich, T. K. Kuhn and D. S. Kokin (Leipzig, 2016), pp. 501–52. 69 Korey, op. cit. (note 68), pp. 37–41. A catalogue of the Serpilius synagogue was published by the convert Moritz Wilhem Christiani in 1723. 70 Korey, op. cit. (note 68), pp. 31–2. 71 As an example, the twelve-year-old Arthur Schopenhauer wrote of his visit in 1800: ‘In the first building [of the Zwinger] are various things relating to the Jewish religion: a Temple Salomonis of wood, copied and measured in a completely correct manner . . . many old Jewish books, written very prettily with Hebrew letters on parchment and rolled up, as well as a variety of instruments for marriage, circumcision, divorce, and other Jewish ceremonies’ (as quoted in Korey, op. cit. (note 68), p. 30). 72 As quoted in ibid., p. 41. 73 Ibid., p. 36. 74 M. Korey, ‘Solomon’s Temple and the Jewish cabinet in the Dresden Zwinger: the search for their historic Traces’, in Fragments of Memory: The Temple of Solomon in the Dresden Zwinger: Facets of a Baroque architectural model and an early Jewish museum, ed. M. Korey and T. Kerelsen (Dresden, 2010), p. 20. 75 Mann, op. cit. (note 7). 76 G. Yogev, Diamonds and Coral: Anglo-Dutch Jews and eighteenth-century trade (Leicester, 1978); F. Trivellato, The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic diaspora, Livorno, and cross-cultural trade in the early modern period (New Haven, 2009), esp. pp. 224–50; D. Jütte, The Age of Secrecy: Jews, Christians, and the economy of secrets, 1400–1800 (New Haven, 2015), pp. 79–84. 77 On Court Jews and collecting generally, see Cohen, op. cit. (note 4); on Alexander David specifically, see V. Mann and R. I. Cohen, From Court Jews to the Rothschilds: Art, Patronage, and Power, 1600–1800 (Munich, 1997), pp. 59–65, and V. Mann, Jewish Texts on the Visual Arts (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 86–9. 78 T. Levie Bernfeld, ‘Matters matter: material culture of Dutch Sephardim (1600–1750)’, Studia Rosenthaliana 44 (2012), pp. 207–13. 79 , p. 212. 80 J.-M. Cohen, ‘The inventory of ceremonial objects of the Portuguese Jewish community of Amsterdam of 1640’, Studia Rosenthaliana 37 (2004), p. 307. 81 J.-M. Cohen, ‘From Rimmonim to Persian rugs: ceremonial objects from the collection of the Portuguese-Jewish Synagogue’, in The Esnoga: A monument to Portuguese-Jewish culture, ed. J. C. E. Belinfante, M. Stroo, and E. Kurpershoek (Amsterdam, 2001), pp. 74–85; and Cohen, op. cit. (note 80). 82 Y. Kaplan, ‘For whom did Emanuel de Witte paint his three pictures of the Sephardic synagogue in Amsterdam?’, Studia Rosenthaliana 32 (1998), pp. 134–43. 83 Korey, op. cit. (note 68), p. 53 no. 78. 84 It is certainly true that these two facets (pedagogy and polemics) were generally central to Christian Hebraism and Judaic scholarship, especially noticeable in seventeenth-century England in the debates surrounding the re-admission of the Jews under Cromwell; see M. Feingold, ‘Oriental studies’, in The History of the University of Oxford: Seventeenth-century Oxford, ed. N. Tyacke (Oxford, 1997), vol. iv, pp. 450–75; D. MacCullough, Reformation: Europe’s house divided 1490–1700 (London, 2004), pp. 503–10; G. Himmelfarb, The People of the Book: Philosemitism in England, from Cromwell to Churchill (New York, 2011), pp. 11–34; and S. Burnett, Christian Hebraism in the Reformation Era (1500–1660): Authors, books, and the transmission of Jewish learning (Leiden, 2012), pp. 93–138. 85 On Islam in the Kunstkammer, see Raby, op. cit. (note 2), and B. Karl, Treasury – Kunstkammer – Museum: Objects from the Islamic world in the museum collections of Vienna (Vienna, 2011). Deutsch, op. cit. (note 22), p. 251, notes a similar trend in the development of ethnographies of the Jews, shifting ‘from the Jew as symbol to the Jew as is’. 86 They are transcribed in Jakolewna, op. cit. (note 55), p. 262, as Sednjak Giritsch [Sedniak Girycz?] and Mjacha Jakowa [Miasha, Jacob’s wife?] – perhaps the parents of the newborn? © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Collections Oxford University Press

‘Remarkable objects of the three . . . main religions’: Judaica in early modern European collections

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Abstract

Abstract The diverse collections of early modern Europe, housed in cabinets of curiosities and Kunstkammern, attempted to capture the wonder of the world through specimens of nature, classical and other artefacts, scientific instruments, works of art, and rare and curious objects from around the world. While it is known that they included objects of ethnographic interest from the New World, Africa, and Asia, the place of Judaica in these collections remains largely unknown and unexplored. This article presents an analysis of the collection and display of Jewish objects in Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Jewish objects occupied a unique place as a living illustration of Biblical antiquity; they, and the communities that created them, were understood in connection with the world of the Bible and ancient history. Jewish objects occupied a liminal space between Europe and the Orient, between familiar and foreign, and between past and present. ‘Now in Room no. 7, one should place remarkable objects of the three widespread main religions, which are filled with many ceremonies: the Papist, the Jewish, and the Turkish.’1 The wide-ranging and diverse court collections of early modern Europe attempted to capture the wonder of the world through specimens of nature, classical and other artefacts, scientific instruments, works of art, religious relics, and rare and curious objects from peoples around the world. While insightful attention has recently been paid to the regard for objects of exotic and ethnographic interest from the New World, Africa, the Levant, and Asia in early modern Kunstkammern, the place of Judaica in these collections and the extent of its inclusion remains largely unknown.2 In scholarship on Jewish museums, the beginning of the collection and exhibition of Judaica is often dated to the last quarter of the nineteenth century (especially with reference to the display of the Strauss collection at the Exposition Universelle in 1878, and the opening of the Jewish Museum in Vienna in 1895).3 Occasional traces can be seen in earlier periods: the German Court Jew, Alexander David of Halberstadt (1687–1765) built a residential complex in Braunschweig that included a synagogue and a room for the display of Jewish ceremonial art, manuscripts, and ritual objects; his collection, exceptional for his time, now forms part of the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum.4 But as a whole, Judaica has not been explored as a category of object relevant to early modern collecting practices. This article presents a preliminary analysis of the collection of Jewish objects by non-Jews in Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, and their contextual meaning within these displays. While Jewish objects were not acquired in any great number or in systematic fashion in early modern Europe, there are nonetheless consistent themes that structured how they were collected and displayed. Jewish objects were not seen as examples of great art, but rather were valued for their ability to illustrate the stories and teachings of the Bible, even though the vast majority of them came not from antiquity but from contemporary European Jewish communities. Thus, while some objects in the Wunderkammer provoked wonder by virtue of their great age and classical authenticity, and others by their exotic provenance in distant nations, Jewish objects were close to the early modern European viewer both temporally and geographically; they were, however, imagined to be imbued with distance of time and space, through the association of contemporary Jews with the Israelites of the Bible. This ‘Biblicizing’ of Jews and Judaism can be found already in medieval European art; in the context of the early modern period, it created a new interest in the material trappings of Judaism, leading to the earliest collections of Judaica intended to represent Judaism to a non-Jewish audience.5 At the same time, Jewish antiquities led to contact with contemporary Jews, both in the process of their acquisition and also in their subsequent interpretation, giving us a glimpse of how Jews might have participated in the pedagogical and intellectual aims fostered by the Kunstkammer. In general, foreign objects in early cabinets were characterized by what Daniela Bleichmar has termed ‘slipperiness’, with multiple categories of interpretation, belonging, and association. As Bleichmar writes, in her discussion of the Spanish Baroque collection of Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa (1607–1681): Geographical imprecision seems to have been the norm rather than the exception. And geography was not the only slippery category. Was the ivory horn in Lastanosa’s collection considered an antiquity or an exotic object? Or both, and if so, did it belong to both categories simultaneously, or did it move from one to the other depending on context? . . . How would the object signify, for seventeenth-century audiences, if it were not simply a rare horn but a rare horn that had once belonged to a king, somewhere far from Europe?6 Jewish objects too, as we shall see, moved between categories, geographies, and interpretations, depending on context and audience. Studying the Jewish object Before considering Jewish objects in early modern collections, we must first clarify what is meant by a Jewish object. Objects found in early modern Kunstkammern can be connected to Jews and Jewishness in a variety of ways – artistic depictions of Jews,7 objects made by Jews for Christian patrons,8 and objects acquired by Jews and presented to Christian patrons9 – but should all of them be included in an analysis of Judaica in early modern collections? Here I draw on scholars of material culture who consider as ‘Jewish’ all objects which either originated from a Jewish community or were intended for use within a Jewish community; I exclude, for example, depictions of Jews by non-Jewish artists, even though many such works were housed in Kunstkammern – a rich topic that has already received attention from other scholars.10 Joan Rosenbaum, in her directorship at the Jewish Museum in New York, described her work as dealing with ‘Jewish culture and all the material forms that relate to it.’11 Vanessa Ochs’s work on material culture and ritual presents a useful theoretical framework, arguing that curators of Jewish material culture should work with a non-hierarchical classification of objects as ‘explicitly Jewish’ or ‘implicitly Jewish’.12 Similarly, Aviva Müller-Lancet of the Israel Museum (Jerusalem) has suggested that dealing with the ‘Jewishness’ of material culture requires the application of three criteria: ownership (was it owned by Jews?), production (was it made by Jews?) and function (was it used by Jews?). She proposes a possible spectrum of material Jewishness: ritual objects, secular objects with ritual use, secular objects of a uniquely ‘Jewish’ form, and secular objects identified as Jewish via fieldwork, interlocutors, or research.13 Indeed, all of these types of objects can be encountered in early modern collections. We should also consider the inclusion of Hebrew books (in both manuscript and print) in our study of Jewish objects. Certainly, the great collectors of early modern Europe also amassed large libraries of scholarly texts, and many of them were especially interested in Hebrew books. The Fugger family, for example, was connected to a network of Sephardi Ottoman rabbis and Jewish scholars who copied and collected Hebrew scientific and rabbinic manuscripts for them and their patrons; the Fugger family’s personal collection of Hebrew manuscripts was acquired by the Vatican in 1623.14 The library of Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753), whose naturalia and artificialia formed the core of the British Museum, included thirteen Hebrew manuscripts; these were purchased by for the nation in 1753. They were joined at the museum by 130 Hebrew manuscripts from the collection of Robert Harley (1661–1724), and a few years later by 180 Hebrew books of King Charles II, donated by Solomon da Costa Athias in 1759 along with a Torah scroll and two medieval Hebrew Bible manuscripts.15 A number of universities and libraries, including El Escorial, the Vatican Library, and the Ambrosian Library, as well as some private collectors, also acquired numerous Hebrew books through the seizure of Jewish libraries and estates.16 While some collectors, like Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680), were also Hebraists and Biblical scholars, and so could study the Hebrew books they collected, others were interested in them also (or perhaps even primarily) for purposes of display. Cardinal Domenico Grimani (1461–1523), for example, could not read Hebrew, but displayed the Hebrew manuscripts he had purchased from the library of Pico della Mirandola to impress scholarly visitors like Erasmus.17 Johann Jakob Fugger (1516–1575) similarly had his Hebrew books bound in green leather to distinguish them from other books, and had to hire a local Jew to record their titles into the shelf lists.18 Sometimes, Hebrew manuscripts were even displayed within the Kunstkammer itself, mixed with other foreign books, statuary, and artefacts of classical antiquity; this was the case, for example, with the cabinet of Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519–1574).19 Bibles were especially prized by collectors, and many cabinets had among their displays a group of Bibles (both printed and in manuscript) in a variety of languages, including Hebrew.20 Although Samuel Quiccheberg (1529–1567) recommended in his treatise on museums that Hebrew books should be placed not in the Kunstkammer but in the library adjoining it, ‘equipped with books of every kind . . . in Hebrew and Greek, under which is also Greco-Latin; German, under which is also Dutch; then Italian, French, Spanish, etc., as many as one might wish to collect’, it seems that for at least some collectors Hebrew manuscripts were not only texts to be studied, but also artefacts to be placed in the collection alongside other ancient and exotic objects.21 For the purposes of our study, however, we will leave aside books in order to focus on other objects of Jewish life. Surveying the various kinds of Judaica to be found in cabinets of curiosities, we might divide the majority into four categories, each of which will be examined here in turn: objects relating to antiquity, objects relating to food and dietary practices, objects relating to prayer, and objects relating to the ritual of circumcision.22 Many of the items in question have suffered the common fate of early modern collections in having been dispersed. Their nature as mostly small household objects, rather than larger, exquisitely-crafted, and valuable works of art, no doubt accelerated their loss. While some Jewish objects remain today that can be traced with certainty to a particular collection, the bulk of the evidence reviewed in this paper comes from surviving inventories, printed catalogues, and travellers’ descriptions of visits to cabinets of curiosities. Of course, we must then rely on the explicit identification of objects in these texts as Jewish, either through a description of the object itself (e.g. ‘a bronze vessel with Hebrew lettering’) or of its use (e.g. ‘a knife used by the Jews for circumcision’). There is no doubt that many more objects that we might consider as Jewish existed in those collections but were not described as such, or were recorded in texts that have not survived or are otherwise inaccessible to us. At the same time, in many cases we cannot be sure of an object’s Jewish provenance solely from its surviving description, but can only comment on its ascribed or assumed Jewishness. This nonetheless provides useful information on what collectors and visitors knew – or thought they knew – about Jews and Judaism. Jewish antiquities The first category, that of objects from (or assumed to be from) antiquity, consists primarily of examples of the sheqel, or ancient Judean coins; I exclude here Christian religious relics from the Holy Land and objects claimed to relate to Biblical history such as stones from Mount Sinai, brimstone from Sodom, etc., as collected by many European antiquaries; nor do I include Temple models, although these are further discussed below.23 Examples of the coins in question appear already in some early sixteenth- and seventeenth-century collections, such as that of Benito Arias Montano (1527–1598), Ole Worm (1588–1654), Athanasius Kircher, and the Wittelsbachs in Munich.24 Although some may not consider these coins ‘Jewish’ objects – they might more technically be categorized as ‘Israelite’ or ‘Judean’ artifacts – they are included here for a number of reasons. First, and perhaps most importantly, ancient Israelites and the Jews of early modern Europe were intertwined in the minds of non-Jewish scholars and antiquaries. Yaacov Deutsch has observed that Hebraists and scholarly writers of the early modern period did generally differentiate between ancient Jews (whom they termed Hebrews or Israelites) and contemporary Jews.25 However, the treatment of Judaism in early collections demonstrates that contemporary Jews continued to be viewed as relevant to an understanding of how the Bible was reflected in Jewish religious practice, and how Jewish objects might be used as material illustrations of a Biblical past. Furthermore, many of the ‘ancient’ coins concerned were not in fact Judean sheqels but contemporary medallions. Much is still unknown about these ‘false sheqels’ or ‘imitation sheqels’ (sometimes called Görlitz shekels), which circulated in Europe in a number of variants from the fifteenth until the early twentieth century; scholars have suggested that some were made for use in the ceremony of Pidyon haBen [redemption of the firstborn], while others may have been copied for Christian pilgrims as relics of Judas’s thirty pieces of silver.26 Regardless of provenance, they were clearly included in early cabinets as antiquities, and were usually displayed with ancient Greek and Roman coins. They can be distinguished from ancient sheqels by the style of the Hebrew script: the ancient sheqel is inscribed with palaeo-Hebrew characters (often described in inventories as ‘Samaritan’), while the early modern sheqel medallions carry inscriptions in the modern form of square (‘Assyrian’) Hebrew script. This distinction is sometimes noted by collectors (such as Kircher) who were familiar with different forms of Hebrew script, while other collectors simply described the coins as Jewish, as with Ole Worm’s ‘Jewish cyclum [sheqel] . . . with a Hebrew inscription’.27 The English antiquary Ralph Thoresby (1658–1725) seems to have been aware of the circulation of modern sheqel medallions, since he writes that ‘the Hebrew [coins] are much depreciated by many, because of the Modern Shekels that the Jews affect to cast or stamp’ but goes on to describe two such medallions in his collection as genuine ancient sheqels.28 Occasionally, other contemporary Jewish objects were also described in terms relating them to antiquity. The Wittelsbach Kunstkammer in Munich had a table displaying Jewish objects ‘used in circumcision and worship’, which were described as alles anticalisch – ‘all ancient’ – despite the fact that they were almost certainly contemporary with the collection.29 Another object in the Munich Kunstkammer, a medieval Jewish betrothal ring, is described as ‘an old [alter] gold ring’ with an image of the Tabernacle.30 This ring (the only surviving Jewish object from the Munich collection) is indeed topped with a miniature castle or house, a symbol of the new home the couple will build together and perhaps an allusion to the Temple in Jerusalem. However, its description in the inventory, connecting it to the ancient Tabernacle, suggests that it was valued most of all for its connection to the ancient world of the Bible.31 As Barbara Marx has shown, the focus on classical antiquity as a display of intellectual, social, and economic superiority was a common feature of both Italian and German collectors, and she notes that the Wittelsbachs were particularly interested in collecting objects all’antica.32 Islamic objects, as well, were occasionally mistakenly associated with the classical world.33 But the blurred distinctions between ancient and modern Jews meant that Jewish objects in particular became vehicles for introducing the past to the present. Finally, these ancient objects are important in considering the place of Judaism in the Kunstkammer since they brought collectors and other scholars into contact with actual, contemporary Jews. Jewish scholars were needed to decipher the palaeo-Hebrew inscriptions on the ancient sheqels, and we have records of collaboration between European antiquaries and local rabbis and Jewish scholars in the study of Jewish antiquities, particularly coinage. One prominent example is that of the French antiquary Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580–1637), who cultivated a friendship with rabbis in Padua and in his native Carpentras, working with them to transcribe and translate the Hebrew inscriptions on ancient coins in his collection.34 Similarly, after the discovery in Norfolk in 1696 of a medieval bronze vessel with a Hebrew inscription, its owner, John Covel of Cambridge (1638–1722), consulted the Jewish scholar Isaac Abendana (c.1640–1699) in an attempt (unsuccessful) to decipher its inscription; one of the bowl’s eighteenth-century owners, Richard Rawlinson (1690–1755), also consulted with ‘several Learned Jews’ on the matter.35 These meetings and interactions testify to the involvement of Jews – if only on the margins – in the intellectual and scientific networks that were fostered by collectors and collections, especially regarding the knowledge of antiquity and the study of the ancient world. Objects relating to food Foreign kitchen utensils, cooking instruments, and even actual examples of food from peoples around the world were exhibited among other curiosities in the Wunderkammer; these items, along with other cultural markers (like shoes, items of clothing, musical instruments) were intended to stimulate amazement and present the ‘theatre of the world’ for intellectual and pedagogical purposes. This was especially true of smaller private collections that focused on unusual and exotic rarities rather than the extravagant and valuable artworks of royal and courtly collections. As examples, the ‘Ark’ of John Tradescant the Elder (c.1570–1638) at Lambeth included among its rarities ‘gourds, olives . . . a cheese’ and ‘Cassava Bread 2 Sorts’,36 while Ralph Thoresby’s collection in Leeds displayed ‘a Norway Cheese of Goat’s Milk, 5½ inches broad, odd waved in the Vat . . . Bread from the coasts of Barbary . . . Cassada-bread made of the Root of a Ricinus Americanus’.37 Thus, Jewish food could take its place alongside other strange and exotic foods from around the world, even though it was most likely obtained from local Jewish communities. But most importantly, the food most favoured was the one most closely linked to the Bible: the unleavened matza eaten on Passover. In Thoresby’s Leeds museum, next to the North African bread was ‘the Jews unleavened Cakes for the Passover, Don[ated by] D. Burrough Lond[on].’38 Similarly, the Oxford collection of John Pointer (1668–1754), which was catalogued c.1740 and later acquired by the Ashmolean, also contained ‘Jewish Passover cakes’.39 Other foodstuffs in cabinets of curiosities were described according to their place of origin, but in the case of these ‘Cakes’ it is their connection to the Jewish holiday which is their most salient feature. In other words, it seems that the rarity of these breads is attributable not to foreignness but to their ‘antiquity’, as demonstrated by their place in the celebration of Passover, as commanded by the Bible (e.g. Exodus 12), and continuing in the practice of modern Jews. Their presence in the cabinet allowed viewers to visualize Biblical history, through the material culture of contemporary Jews. One object related to Jewish food unusually references not the Bible, but the Talmud. A knife used for shehita (Jewish ritual slaughter) in the museum of Ferdinando Cospi (1606–1686) was described as ‘an ancient knife [coltello antico]’ with a carved ivory handle; the catalogue explains that ‘[the Jews] commonly have this kind of knife in order to slaughter, or as they say, “sagattare”, the animals: for it is prohibited to them by the Talmud to use for this ceremony knives with a point or that have dents on the edge. These are declared impure by the rabbis and the talmudists, and they prohibit animals killed with them or in a different way in these ceremonies.’40 While this is not connected to the Bible, it is nonetheless described (albeit inaccurately) as ancient, and placed in the company of other ancient weapons, and thus by extension similarly categorizes the Jews who continue to practice this arcane ritual. The discussion of the ‘Talmudists’ in particular may serve to highlight the ways in which European Christians saw Talmudic (i.e. rabbinic) Judaism as a strange and unusual deviation from the true Biblical religion.41 Objects relating to Jewish prayer While the table in the Wittelsbach collection in Munich was described by its cataloguer, Johann Baptist Fickler (1533–1610), as displaying ‘dishes and tools which the Jews have used in circumcision and worship’,42 the only object from the Munich collection which can be specifically tied to religious ceremony – apart from one circumcision basin in this group, about which see below – is a two-handled vessel with a Hebrew inscription, used for the ritual hand-washing (netilat yadayyim) before meals; it is not, however, explicitly identified as an object of Jewish ritual.43 Other material objects relating to prayer, however, were identified as such in other collections. In 1692 a shofar [ram’s horn] was acquired by the Ashmolean museum from the collection of the late Edward Pococke (1604–1691); the accession notes describe it as a ‘Jewish Trumpet made of a ram’s horn, which they blow morning and evening every day from the 1st to the 28th of August.’44 The reference is to the Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the New Year (Rosh haShana), and during which it is indeed traditional in many Jewish communities to blow the shofar daily; Elul generally falls during the late summer, although it is not always equivalent to the month of August. Another shofar was included in the Kunst- und Naturalienkammer of the Francke Foundations in Halle (Saale): ‘a horn which the Jews use at their festivals’, apparently donated to the collection by a Jewish convert to Christianity.45 While not explicitly linked to the Bible in the extant catalogue descriptions, it should be noted that the shofar is mentioned many times in the Hebrew Bible, and thus provides yet another way that Jewish objects could be used as illustrations of Biblical material culture.46 Several British cabinets included examples of tefillin, phylacteries worn during daily prayers. It was their handwritten Hebrew scrolls, usually included among other examples of foreign writing, that attracted most attention. The Tradescants’ Ark, for example, listed them as ‘Jewes Philacteries with the Commandements, writ in Hebrew.’47 Thoresby’s museum in Leeds also had ‘a Jewish Philactery in Hebrew, in a single Scroll of Parchment, with the four sentences of the Law’, alongside an incredible variety of scripts, papers, and writing implements: a porcupine quill pen, a Russian painted inkhorn, Mughal miniature paintings, Chinese bamboo paper, an Arabic letter from the Moroccan ambassador, and more.48 In the catalogue of the Royal Society’s collection, Nehemiah Grew (1641–1712) explicitly describes the scrolls through the lens of Biblical Judaism: A Jewishphylactery. This here is only a single scroll of Parchment, ¾ of an inch broad, and 15 inches long; with Four Sentences of the Law (viz. Exod. 13. from 7. to 11. and f. 13 to 17. Deut. 6 f. 3. to 10. and 11. f. 13. to 19.) most curiously written upon it in Hebrew. Serarius,49 from the Rabbies, saith, That they were written severally upon so many Scrolls. And that the Jews to this day, do wear them over their Foreheads in that manner. So that they are of several sorts or modes, whereof this is one. The original use of them, for Momento’s: grounded on that Command, And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine Hand, and they shall be as Frontlets between thine Eyes. But afterwards, served more for Ostentation. And at last, for Spells or Amulets. From whence also the use of Charms amongst Christians was first learn’d; and those who gave them called Phylacterii. Prohibited by the Council in Trullo.50 Here again, as with Cospi’s discussion of the sheḥita knife, artefacts of the contemporary Jewish community are used both to illustrate Biblical precepts and also to demonstrate the ways in which rabbinic Judaism had departed from its historical ancestor. Christian collectors, many of whom saw their collections as revealing the divine authorship of the natural world, described the Jewish objects in their collections in ways that distanced them from the actual Jews who created them, while simultaneously using the perceived authority of Jewish proximity to the Bible to lend these objects credibility and verisimilitude as illustrations of Biblical history. The Jews of early modern Europe were not the Jews of the Bible; and yet their practices, and their objects, were inextricably tied to it. Objects relating to circumcision These comprise objects relating to the ritual of circumcision, especially the shield (magen) used to hold the prepuce, and the knife (izmel) used for the circumcision itself; in one extraordinary and possibly unique example, the Royal Society listed in its 1731 inventory an actual foreskin taken from a Jewish boy.51 Objects relating to circumcision formed perhaps the most common examples of Jewish objects in the Kunstkammer, with examples in collections spanning much of Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Since the compilation of the New Testament, circumcision has been a locus for a variety of Christian-Jewish interaction, especially polemical; in early modern Europe, Jewish rituals of circumcision both fascinated and terrified Christian scholars, and they formed one of the most commonly described and illustrated aspects of Jewish life.52 Travellers’ accounts of Kunstkammern often explicitly reference these objects, such as ‘a stone [knife] with which the Jews circumcise their children’ among the rarities of the collection, suggesting that these objects were seen as particularly interesting, or were specially pointed out.53 In catalogues and inventories of collections, artefacts relating to circumcision are identified as such, but generally presented without commentary. It is thus difficult to determine whether their presence was intended as polemical – perhaps as part of the long antisemitic history of Christian, and especially Protestant, engagement with Jewish circumcision – or pedagogical, although it is likely that these objects carried different nuances for different viewers.54 The surviving references to objects of Jewish circumcision indicates that this ceremony – perhaps the primary example of a Biblical ritual practised by contemporary Jews – was an essential aspect of the representation of Judaism in the cabinet of curiosities. In some cases, they are explicitly identified as Jewish circumcision knives, but in other cases may be described only as Jewish – a circumcision knife in the Kunstkamera of Peter the Great, originally from the cabinet of the Scottish-Russian statesman Jakob Bruce (1669–1735), is described only as ‘a knife, with a silver and gilded amber handle, and a blade adorned with a Hebrew inscription’55 – and in some cases only as a circumcision knife with no mention of the Jews, as in the Tradescant collection: ‘a Circumcision-Knife of stone, and the instrument to take up the praeputium of silver.’56 In this case, we know from a later inventory of the Ashmolean that this silver ‘instrument’ (the magen, or ‘shield’) was inscribed in Hebrew with the name ‘David Aben [ibn] Attar,’ confirming its Jewish provenance.57 In other cases, like the circumcision knives catalogued in the cabinets of Ferdinand II (1529–1595) at Schloß Ambras and of Friedrich Wilhelm (1620–1688) in Berlin, we can only assume their Jewishness based on this pattern.58 Of course, it is still possible that some of these objects did not have actual Jewish provenance, but were misunderstood or misrepresented as Jewish circumcision knives. This would reinforce my assertion that the idea of these knives, and their power to represent this exotic, ancient, and terrifying Jewish practice, was a powerful and attractive one for collectors and visitors alike. The Munich Kunstkammer presents a particularly interesting dilemma in this regard. The 1598 inventory lists a number of objects under the heading of ‘Vessels and Tools used by the Jews in Circumcision and Worship’ – mostly brass basins, and a number of lamps, bottles, and other vessels. Only the first basin is described explicitly as connected to Jewish ritual: ‘a large, oval brass basin, over which the Jews circumcise their children.’59 Two bottles are identified as being ‘engraved in the Jewish style’ [jüdischer arbeit], while others are described as being decorated with flowers and scrollwork; several of the vessels are said to have inscriptions in ‘Syrian’ [syrischer] script, while others have ‘foreign’ [frembder] script. The editors of Fickler’s inventory argue that the ‘Syrian’ script refers to square Hebrew characters, often known as ‘Syrian’ or ‘Assyrian’ (as opposed to ancient Palaeo-Hebrew), while the ‘foreign’ script refers to Arabic.60 If so, we are presented with an amalgam of Jewish and Islamic vessels – did Fickler begin with cataloguing Jewish objects and then move on to the other ‘Oriental’ vessels because of their similar style – or were these objects purposefully displayed together? Was there a genuine confusion between Jewish and Islamic objects, or an indifference to their precise origin? And what was the origin of the Jewish objects (if indeed there were any): were they from the Islamic world – perhaps the Ottoman Empire or North Africa – or from local European communities? This lack of clarity is also apparent in visitors’ testimonies: in 1598, Duke Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1568–1636) described seeing ‘tools of Jewish sacrifice’ (instrumenta pro sacrificiis judaicis), apparently referring to this table, during his visit to the Wittelsbach Kunstkammer; conversely, Philipp Hainhofer (1578–1647) described it in 1611 as ‘one table [with] large and small damascene dishes, chests, vessels, pots, and basins, inlaid with silver . . . artistically beautiful Turkish work’.61 In 1623, Prince Christian II of Anhalt-Bernburg (1599–1656) recorded his impression of this table as displaying ‘ancient vessels of copper, inlaid with silver, which were used in the Old Testament for circumcision’ – a perfect example of the fluidity of perceptions of Jewish practice between ancient and contemporary history.62 Jewish or Muslim? Modern or ancient? The mix of time and geography that characterizes these reports demonstrates that visitors understood these objects in a diversity of ways, and that the significance of objects often lay in what they represented, in addition to (or perhaps beyond) what they were. Some present-day scholars dismiss the Jewishness of this display altogether: Jeremy Warren notes ‘the supposed use of Islamic metalwork basins by Jews in the ceremony of circumcision’ and calls the Duke of Brunswick ‘credulous’ for believing the objects to be Jewish, rather than Hainhofer’s ‘more accurate’ description of them as Turkish.63 Similarly, Barbara Staudinger asserts that ‘most probably, the objects on display were neither antique nor Jewish: today it is known that their origin was to be found in the Islamic or oriental world.’64 This is most likely the case, and I am not suggesting that we take the Duke of Brunswick at his word; with the dispersal and loss of the objects from this table, we may never know precisely what they were. Nonetheless, it is clear that despite their provenance, they were identified and perceived as Jewish, and linked explicitly to circumcision and Jewish ritual, both by the officials cataloguing the collection and by visitors to it. Excursus i: the Juden-Cabinet In all these examples, even when Judaica was explicitly identified as connected to the Jewish community in some way, items appear as isolated objects or occasionally as small groups of objects, but they were never collected or displayed in a systematic fashion, intended to represent or describe Judaism as a whole (in the way that the natural collections attempted to create taxonomies). In the eighteenth century, however, a specific focus on religious objects emerged. One German guide for creating a Kunstkammer, Der Geöffnete Ritter-Platz, published in 1704 by Leonhard Christoph Sturm (1669–1719), advises that: Now in Room no. 7, one should place remarkable objects of the three widespread main religions [Haupt-Religionen] which are filled with many ceremonies: the Papist, the Jewish, and the Turkish . . . From the Jewish religion, one should collect their Phylacteria, or Commemorative-Boxes, which they bind in leather cases with straps on their heads and hands; circumcision knives; beautiful copies of the Law, which have been used in their synagogues; the cloths which they spread over their heads in prayer, and so on.65 A number of eighteenth-century collections did in fact create specialized displays of remarkable religious objects from around the world. The Kunst- und Naturalienkammer in Halle, created in the first decades of the 1700s by August Hermann Francke (1663–1727) as part of the educational programme of his charitable foundation, included a cabinet devoted to ‘sacred things from foreign religions’, although it contained only one Jewish object (the shofar mentioned earlier); the display also included a model of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, a ‘Turkish’ circumcision knife, an image of Confucius, a Peruvian statue of the god Huitzilopochtli (‘Bizlipuzli’), and several ancient Roman and Egyptian idols.66 In other contexts, specific collections emerged with the aim of representing Judaism to a non-Jewish audience, usually including both models of the ancient Temple of Solomon and objects representing a contemporary Jewish synagogue.67 The first such ‘model synagogue’ was built in Greifswald in 1708 by a Jewish convert to Christianity, Christoph Wallich, for the Lutheran theologian Johann Friedrich Mayer (1719–1798). According to Wallich’s catalogue, its contents included not only a full range of furnishings, with Torah scrolls and all their accoutrements inside an aron qodesh, sedaqa boxes, mizraḥ plaques, and even a life-size stuffed rabbi-figure (!) wearing tallit and tefillin; also shown were a wide variety of Jewish ritual objects – an Esther scroll, a shofar, a mezuzah, a lulav and etrog, a havdala set, a ketubah and a get, circumcision implements, amulets, and a number of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books.68 Other similarly educational Judaica collections were constructed in Regensburg by Georg Serpilius (1668–1723), inspiring a second model synagogue there built by ‘several notable members of the praiseworthy group of local merchants’, and a further one at the University of Uppsala.69 The Greifswald ‘synagogue’ was eventually acquired by the University of Leipzig, and then in 1732 by the court of Friedrich Augustus the Strong (1670–1733) in Dresden, where it was put on display in the Kunstkammer of the Zwinger palace, along with a large seventeenth-century model of the Temple. Interestingly, for the next several decades it was overseen by a Jewish curator, one Isaac Löbel, who petitioned in 1769 for an exemption from the ‘Jewish taxes’ in Saxony on the basis of his service.70 The Juden-Cabinet was apparently one of the highlights of the Dresden Kunstkammer, and numerous travellers’ accounts record their marvelling at its accuracy and impressive scope, up to the point of its dissolution in the 1830s.71 While the majority of the contents of the Juden-Cabinet were lost, some traces have survived: the wooden Temple model is currently in the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, and an Esther scroll that was copied from the original during the Juden-Cabinet’s transfer to the Zwinger remains today in the Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig. In some ways, the themes of the Juden-Cabinet represented a continuation of how Judaism was presented in collections and cabinets of curiosities in previous centuries: the intermingling of ancient and modern artefacts, the particular interest in Jewish rituals of prayer and circumcision, and the belief that Biblical history was alive in the artefacts of contemporary Judaism. When Anders Norrelius (1677–1749), librarian of the University of Uppsala, requested funds for the purpose of assembling a collection of Judaica, he explained to the chancellor that he had used these Jewish objects successfully in his own teaching, and argued that ‘such objects can only be wrung from the Jews by pleas and payment. Yet they are vital in a [model] synagogue and serve to explain both the Old and New Testaments in very many places.’72 But at the same time, the model synagogue was also an innovation that emerged to serve novel educational and polemical functions – in Greifswald, explicitly aimed ‘to show the Jews their superstition . . . and with God’s grace to bring a Jew to the awareness of Jesus Christ.’73 These ‘model synagogues’ were focused not just on presenting a few rare or curious Jewish artefacts but on bringing contemporary Judaism to life, even going so far as to include life-size Jewish mannequins. Indeed, Korey argues that the century-long presentation of the model synagogue in the Dresden Kunstkammer (where it stood on display from 1734 to 1836), should be regarded as ‘the first Jewish museum in the world open to a broad public.’74 Excursus ii: Jewish cabinets Another question that remains unexplored is the role of Jewish merchants and wealthy Court Jews (Hofjuden) in financing, supplying, and furnishing Kunstkammern. As Vivian Mann has noted, several Court Jews may served as art dealers to royal patrons, and even presented some artefacts to royal collections themselves.75 A number of scholars have also demonstrated the central role of Jewish merchants in supplying European courts with luxury objects, including diamonds, coral, and ‘unicorn’ horns.76 In this way, even the collection of non-Jewish objects may have been shaped by the personal or communal interests of Jewish suppliers. We might ask, then, to what extent did these practices of collecting influence Jewish communities? One example might be the private collections of Court Jews and other wealthy Jewish merchants, some of whom are known to have collected and displayed not only secular art but Judaica as well. The Court Jew Alexander David of Brunswick, as mentioned, was known to have a ‘treasure house’ of art and Judaica in his home, open to the public, which Cecil Roth termed the first Jewish museum.77 Similarly, the élite Dutch Sephardim in Amsterdam took pride in displaying their collections of artistic rarities and antiquities, which included Jewish objects, in their luxurious salons, dining rooms, and gardens: inventories of Jewish homes in Amsterdam reveal a variety of items of Judaica, including Sabbath and Hanukkah lamps, embroidered Torah mantles, paintings of Biblical scenes and the Amsterdam synagogue, maps of the Holy Land, and Hebrew prayer-books with golden and silver covers.78 It is true that, as Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld observes, these examples of Judaica ‘formed a minority among the objects and paintings inside, [and] were indiscriminately alternated with objects and paintings containing non-religious themes.’79 Thus it seems that while Jewish objects were seen as important material elements of ethnic and religious pride for Dutch Sephardim, and prized as collectible objects of art, they were displayed to the public (both Jewish and non-Jewish) alongside other examples of ceramics, metalwork, and foreign exotica. Another place to look might be synagogues themselves, which also amassed considerable collections of Judaica. An inventory of the Portuguese synagogue of Amsterdam in 1640, for example, lists close to 400 objects owned communally or by the synagogue’s members, including elaborate gold and silver finials; Torah scrolls with ebony, ivory, and silver-plated wooden rollers; coral pointers; copper lamps and candlesticks; ‘a glass cupboard with Venetian blinds for prayer-books’;80 and colourful fabric mantles and curtains of North African, Turkish, Brazilian, Russian, and even Chinese provenance.81 Not only were these objects used regularly by the community but they were admired by non-Jewish visitors: the English writer John Evelyn (1620–1706), for example, records in 1641 that he ‘procur’d to be brought to a Synagogue of the Jewes (it being then Saturday) whose Ceremonies, Ornaments, Lamps, Law, and Scholes afforded matter for my wonder and enquiry,’ and the services in the Portuguese synagogue of Amsterdam were portrayed by a number of Dutch artists.82 Given the regular presence of non-Jewish visitors to this rich visual landscape, we might wonder whether we could consider this, too, a Jewish museum or cabinet of sorts. It is thus particularly curious that non-Jewish Dutch collectors seem to have had so little interest in Judaica. Some eighteenth-century Dutch theologians and professors did collect Temple models and antiquities relating to the Bible, although little survives from these collections; in the early nineteenth century some remnants of the architectural furnishings of a Temple model, as well as two mezuzot, from the collection of Sebaldus Rau (1724–1818), were acquired by the Protestant minister Leendert Schouten (1828–1905) and displayed with a number of other examples of nineteenth-century Judaica in his Bijbels Museum (which still exists in Amsterdam today).83 More research is needed to trace what kinds of Judaica, if any, were circulating in non-Jewish collections in the Low Countries. Conclusion For over two centuries, European collectors of all classes acquired and displayed Judaica among their cabinets of rare and curious objects. While they left little information about their motivations for collecting these objects or even their perceptions of where they belonged in the epistemological schema of the Kunstkammer, from the surviving evidence we can offer several deductions. First, the types of objects collected indicates that Judaica was seen as a way of visually or materially representing the Biblical text, just as other areas of the Kunstkammer illustrated the ‘book of nature’ or the ‘book of history’. This served both pedagogical purposes (allowing Christians to learn more about other faiths, as well as the roots of their own tradition) and polemical ones (aiding in the demonstration of ‘Jewish follies’ and promoting the conversion of Jews to Christianity).84 Second, Jews were perceived as an exotic people whose objects could offer a window into their traditions and lifecycle, unlike Islamic objects, which (until the eighteenth century) were collected as art, or as trophies, but not as explicitly ethnographic exemplars.85 And finally, Jewish objects occupied a liminal space between past and present, between art and history, and between Europe and the Orient. We are still left with many questions. Were these objects sought out by collectors, or did they make their way into collections by happenstance? In most cases, we know very little about where and how they were obtained. The circumcision shield in the Tradescant collection seems to have been of Sephardic origin (judging by both its form and the inscribed name, ‘David Aben Attar’): was this obtained from one of the many wealthy Dutch Sephardi merchants who were beginning to settle in England in this period? Or was it in fact of North African or Mediterranean provenance? The circumcision knife in Jakob Bruce’s collection is inscribed with Polish names, which seems to imply a connection with local or semi-local Jewish communities.86 And the Munich table presents its own set of problems in trying to tease out the exact nature and origins of these various Jewish/Oriental objects. How and why were these objects collected? There is still much to learn about the role that Judaism and Judaica played in the world of collecting in early modern Europe, and no doubt there remain many objects hiding in unpublished inventories and un-researched collections. While Judaica was not a major concern of most collectors, it is nonetheless clear that engaging with Jewish objects was an expected practice for visitors that involved the interpretation of Judaism as holding ethnographic, antiquarian, and religious interest. At once familiar and foreign, the shifting meanings of Jewish objects emerged from the process of knowledge-making that was an inherent part of the intellectual experience of the Kunstkammer. Acknowledgements I am grateful for generous feedback from Dr Ivana Horacek, for whom this paper was originally conceived, and that of Dr Vivian Mann, who commented on an earlier draft. Dr Dora Thornton of the British Museum revealed herself to be the insightful reviewer of this article and I thank her for her considerate and careful reading and for sharing her own work in advance of publication. I also owe my thanks to Drs Thomas Kuster (Schloß Ambras Innsbruck), Inga Elmqvist-Söderlund (Stockholm University), Lia Markey (Newberry Library), Jessica Keating (Carleton College), Mirjam Knotter and Julie-Marthe Cohen (Joods Cultureel Kwartier, Amsterdam), Anne Kahnt (Franckesche Stiftungen zu Halle), and Eric Jorink (Leiden University), who responded patiently and kindly to various and sundry queries. Any remaining errors are mine alone. Notes and references 1 L. C. Sturm, Die geöffnete Raritäten- und Naturalien-Kammer (Hamburg, 1705), p. 42. 2 For some examinations of exotica and ‘ethnographica’ in Kunstkammern, see inter alia: J. Raby, ‘Exotica from Islam’, in The Origins of Museums: The cabinet of curiosities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, ed. O. Impey and A. MacGregor (Oxford, 1985), pp. 251–8; C. Feest, ‘The collecting of American Indian artifacts in Europe, 1493–1750’, in America in European Consciousness, 1493–1750, ed. K. O. Kupperman (Chapel Hill, 1995), pp. 324–60; C. Johnson, ‘Stone gods and Counter-Reformation knowledges’, in Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, objects, and texts, 1400–1800, ed. P. H. Smith and B. Schmidt (Chicago, 2008), pp. 233–47; E. Bujok, ‘Ethnographica in early modern Kunstkammern and their perception’, Journal of the History of Collections 21 (2009), pp. 17–32; J. Keating and L. Markey, ‘“Indian” objects in Medici and Austrian-Habsburg inventories: a case-study of the sixteenth-century term’, Journal of the History of Collections 23 (2010), pp. 1–18; D. Bleichmar, ‘Seeing the world in a room: looking at exotica in early modern collections’, in Collecting across Cultures: Material exchanges in the early modern Atlantic world, ed. D. Bleichmar and P. C. Mancall (Philadelphia, 2011), pp. 15–30; A. Byrne, Geographies of the Romantic North: Science, antiquarianism, and travel, 1790–1830 (New York, 2013), pp. 83–104. 3 See, e.g., see G. C. Grossman, Judaica at the Smithsonian: Cultural politics as cultural model, ed. G. C. Grossman and R. E. Ahlborn (Washington, dc, 1997), pp. 4–16; T. Metzler, ‘Collecting community: the Berlin Jewish Museum as narrator between past and present, 1906–1939’, in Visualizing and Exhibiting Jewish Space and History, ed. R. I. Cohen (Oxford, 2012), pp. 55–79. More recently, the subject has been touched upon by Dora Thornton, ‘Baron Ferdinand Rothschild’s sense of family origins and the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum’, Journal of the History of Collections online, doi:10.1093/jhc/fhx052. 4 R. I. Cohen, Jewish Icons: Art and society in modern Europe (Berkeley, 1998), p. 190; V. Mann, Jewish Texts on the Visual Arts (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 86–9. 5 For the elision of ancient and contemporary Jews in medieval art, see V. Mann, Uneasy Communion: Jews, Christians, and the altarpieces of medieval Spain (New York, 2010), pp. 76–127. 6 Bleichmar, op. cit. (note 2), p. 19. 7 V. Mann, ‘A Court Jew’s silver cup’, Metropolitan Museum Journal 43 (2008), pp. 132–3. 8 A. Swersky, ‘The Choschen presented by the Jews of Prague to Kaiser Rudolf II’, Jewellery Studies 4 (1990), pp. 33–6. 9 E. Jorink, Reading the Book of Nature in the Dutch Golden Age, 1575–1715 (Leiden, 2010), p. 295. 10 Such studies include: Cohen, op. cit. (note 4); D. Katz, The Jew in the Art of the Italian Renaissance (Philadelphia, 2008); and M. Merback, Beyond the Yellow Badge: Anti-Judaism and antisemitism in medieval and early modern visual culture (Leiden, 2008). 11 J. Rosenbaum, ‘Introduction’, in Treasures of the Jewish Museum, ed. N. L. Kleeblatt and V. Mann (New York, 1986), p. 9. 12 V. Ochs, Inventing Jewish Ritual (Philadelphia, 2007), p. 101. 13 A. Müller-Lancet, Garments with a Message: Jewish clothing in Islamic lands (Jerusalem, 2010), pp. 35–47. 14 R. Morrison, ‘A scholarly intermediary between the Ottoman Empire and Renaissance Europe’, Isis 105 no. 1 (2014), pp. 54–6. 15 D. Goldstein, ‘Charles II’s Hebrew books’, British Library Journal 21 no. 1 (1995), pp. 23–5; I. Tahan, ‘The Hebrew collection of the British Library: past and present’, European Judaism: A Journal for the New Europe 41 no. 2 (2008), pp. 44–6. 16 S. Burnett, Christian Hebraism in the Reformation Era (1500–1660): Authors, books, and the transmission of Jewish learning (Leiden, 2012), pp. 180–1. 17 M. Lowry, ‘Two great Venetian libraries in the age of Aldus Manutius’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 57 (1974), p. 149; Burnett, op. cit. (note 16), p. 184. 18 Burnett, op. cit. (note 16), p. 173. 19 C. Conti, La prima reggia di Cosimo I de’ Medici nel Palazzo già della signoria di Firenze (Florence, 1893), p. 196. 20 As an example, see R. Thoresby, Museum Thoresbyanum, or a Catalogue of the antiquities and of the natural and artificial rarities preserved in the repository of Ralph Thoresby (London, 1713), pp. 501–13. 21 As translated by M. Meadow, The First Treatise on Museums: Samuel Quiccheberg’s Inscriptiones, 1565 (Los Angeles, 2013), p. 71. With regard to the exotic and mysterious allure of Hebrew manuscripts, see Keating and Markey, op. cit. (note 2), p. 1, who mention an inventory that catalogues a Hebrew manuscript (or manuscripts?) as ‘Indian’, but I have been unable to trace this tantalizing reference. 22 This is, in fact, parallel to what Deutsch argues are the main areas of Christian scholarly and literary focus on Jewish life, as shown by the three main chapters of his book: ethnographic accounts of Jewish prayer, circumcision rituals, and Jewish dietary practices: Y. Deutsch, Judaism in Christian Eyes: Ethnographic descriptions of Jews and Judaism in early modern Europe (Leiden, 2012). 23 On coins and numismatics in Kunstkammern generally, see J. Cunnally, Images of the Illustrious: The numismatic presence in the Renaissance (New Haven, 1999); and J. Helmrath, ‘Die Aura der Kaisermünze: Bild-Text-Studien zur Historiographie der Renaissance und zur Entstehung der Numismatik als Wissenschaft’, in Medien und Sprachen humanistischer Geschichtsschreibung (Berlin, 2009), pp. 99–138. On artefacts of ‘Biblical’ history in Dutch collections, see E. Jorink, ‘Noah’s Ark restored (and wrecked): Dutch collectors, natural history and the problem of Biblical exegesis’, in Silent Messengers: The circulation of material objects of knowledge in the early modern Low Countries (Berlin, 2011), pp. 153–84. 24 O. Worm, Museum Wormianum, seu, Historia rerum rariorum (Leiden, 1655), p. 359; G. de Sepibus, Romani Collegii Societatis Iesu Musaeum Celeberrimum (Amsterdam, 1678), p. 48; Z. Shalev, ‘Sacred geography, antiquarianism and visual erudition: Benito Arias Montano and the maps in the Antwerp Polyglot Bible’, Imago Mundi 55 (2003), pp. 56–60; D. Diemer et al. (eds), Die Münchner Kunstkammer (Munich, 2008), vol. i, p. 252. 25 Y. Deutsch, ‘“A view of the Jewish religion”: conceptions of Jewish practice and ritual in early modern Europe’, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 3 (2001), pp. 276–7. 26 I. Rezak, ‘Genuine imitations: Jewish use of pseudo-coins’, Israel Numismatic Journal 15 (2006), pp. 152–69; H. Gitler, ‘The thirty pieces of silver: a modern numismatic perspective’, in Valori e disvalori simbolici delle monete: I Trenta denari di Giuda, ed. L. Travaini (Rome, 2009), pp. 63–78. 27 Worm, op. cit. (note 24), p. 359. In this case, Worm’s description of the imagery (‘on one side, a thurible; on the other, Aaron’s flowering rod’) confirms that this is the pseudo-sheqel rather than an ancient example. A similar description of a pseudo-sheqel as simply ‘a Hebrew sheqel’ is in Fickler’s Munich inventory, Diemer et al., op. cit. (note 24), vol. i, p. 252. 28 Thoresby, op. cit. (note 20), p. 275. For recent discussion of a sheqel in the collection of another eighteenth-century English collector, Philip Barton (d. 1765), see William Poole, ‘Barton’s coins: eighteenth-century numismatics in New College, Oxford’, Journal of the History of Collections online, doi:10.1093/jhc/fhx048. 29 P. Diemer, D. Diemer, and E. Bujok (eds), Johann Baptist Fickler: das Inventar der Münchner herzoglichen Kunstkammer von 1598 (Munich, 2004), p. 53. 30 , p. 97. 31 A number of these medieval ‘house rings’ survive, although the Munich ring is the only one known to have been displayed in an early modern collection. Diemer et al., op. cit. (note 24), vol. ii, p. 308; V. Mann, ‘Medieval Jewish wedding rings’, in Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every people under Heaven, ed. B. D. Boehm and M. Holcomb (New York, 2016), pp. 144–6. The Munich ring survives today in the Residenz München Schatzkammer. 32 B. Marx, ‘Wandering objects, migrating artists: the appropriation of Italian Renaissance art by German courts in the sixteenth century’, in Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe, vol. iv:Forging European Identities, 1400–1700, ed. H. Roodenburg (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 178–226, esp. p. 204. 33 Raby, op. cit. (note 2), p. 254. 34 P. Miller, ‘The mechanics of Christian-Jewish intellectual conversation in seventeenth-century Provence: N.-C. Fabri de Peiresc and Salomon Azubi’, in Hebraica Veritas? Christian Hebraists and the study of Judaism in early modern Europe, ed. A. Coudert and J. S. Shoulson (Philadelphia, 2004), pp. 71–101. Some Jews even helped in the identification and translation of Arabic inscriptions on Islamic coins; see P. Miller, ‘Peiresc and the study of Islamic coins in the early seventeenth century’, Princeton University Library Chronicle 69 no. 2 (2008), pp. 315–87. 35 Quote from D. Tovey’s Anglia Judaica (Oxford, 1738), p. 248. For Covel and Abendana, see I. Abrahams, ‘A note on the Bodleian Bowl’, Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England 5 (1905), pp. 184–92. The ‘Bodleian Bowl’ was bequeathed to the Bodleian Library by Rawlinson; it is currently housed in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. 36 The first quote is from Stirn’s 1638 account, as quoted in H. Hager, ‘Appendix ii to review of Schaible, Geschichte der Deutschen in England von den ersten germanischen ansiedlungen in Britannien bis zum ende des 18. Jahrhunderts’, Englische Studien 10 (1885), p. 450; the second is from J. Tradescant, Musaeum Tradescantianum, or, A collection of rarities preserved at South-Lambeth neer London (London, 1656), p. 43. 37 Thoresby, op. cit. (note 20), pp. 477–8. 38 Ibid., p. 477 39 R. Gunther, Early Science in Oxford, vol. iii (Oxford, 1925), p. 522. 40 L. Legati, Museo Cospiano annesso a quello del famoso Ulisse Aldrovandi e donato alla sua Patria dall’ illustrissimo Signor Ferdinando Cospi (Bologna, 1677), p. 239. I thank Dr Stefania Silvestri for her assistance with the Italian. 41 E. Carlebach, ‘The status of the Talmud in early modern Europe,’ in Printing the Talmud: From Bomberg to Schottstein, ed. S. L. Mintz (New York, 2006), pp. 79–89; A. Grafton, ‘The Jewish book in Christian Europe: material texts and religious encounters’, in Faithful Narratives: Historians, religion, and the challenge of objectivity, ed. A. Sterk and N. Caputo (Ithaca, 2014), pp. 96–114. 42 Diemer et al., op. cit., (note 29) p. 53. 43 Ibid., p. 178. Although it appears later in the inventory, no. 2255, Diemer notes that it ‘apparently belongs with the group of Jewish vessels, nos. 199–203’: Diemer et al., op. cit., (note 24), vol. ii, p. 692. 44 Gunther, op. cit. (note 39), p. 450. 45 According to its online inventory record, r no. 0419, available online at http://www.francke-halle.de/einrichtungen-a-2001.html. I thank Anne Kahnt at the Franckesche Stiftungen zu Halle for her assistance in locating this object record. 46 As a comparison, it might be noted that the first object acquired by Cyrus Adler for the National Museum [now the Smithsonian Institution] in his role as Assistant Curator of Oriental Antiquities was the donation of a shofar belonging to his own grandfather, Leopold Sulzberger. This shofar was first displayed in 1889 in an exhibition on Biblical antiquities mounted in honour of the inauguration of President Benjamin Harrison; see G. C. Grossman, op. cit. (note 3), p. 105, and S. W. Holloway, ‘The Smithsonian Institution’s religious ceremonial objects and biblical antiquities exhibits at the World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1893) and the Cotton States and International Exposition (Atlanta, 1895)’, in Orientalism, Assyriology and the Bible, ed. S. W. Holloway (Sheffield, 2006), pp. 95–138. 47 Tradescant, op. cit. (note 36), p. 43. 48 Thoresby, op. cit. (note 20), pp. 499–500. 49 Nicholas Serarius (1555–1605), a French Jesuit scholar and Hebraist, professor at the University of Mainz. 50 N. Grew, Musaeum Regalis Societatis, or a catalogue and description of the natural and artificial rarities belonging to the Royal Society and preserved at Gresham College (London, 1681), p. 377 (italics in original). 51 Inventory of the Royal Society (1731), ms 417, Repository Catalogue d, fasc. 3, ‘Parts of Human Bodies and their Anatomy’. The inventory notes that the boy was circumcised at ten years of age, hence this probably refers to a child of a Portuguese New Christian family who was returning to Judaism, as was common in the early eighteenth century. I thank Dr Aron Sterk for providing me with this example and explanation. 52 E. Frojmovic, ‘Christian travelers to the circumcision: early modern representations’, in The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite, ed. E. W. Mark (Waltham, ma, 2003), pp. 128–37; Deutsch, op. cit. (note 22), pp. 122–74; Y. Deutsch, ‘Religious rituals and ethnographic knowledge: sixteenth-century descriptions of circumcision’, Knowledge and Religion in Early Modern Europe: Studies in honor of Michael Heyd, ed. A. Ben-Tov, Y. Deutsch, and T. Herzig (Leiden, 2013), pp. 119–34. 53 This quote is from the German traveller Justus Zinzerling’s visit to the cabinet of a church official in Tours, Itinerarium Galliae, ita accommodatum, ut eius ductu mediocri tempore tota Gallia (Lyon, 1616), p. 113. Similar remarks regarding Jewish circumcision knives are made in the record of Stirn’s visit to Lambeth in 1638 (Hager, op. cit. (note 36), p. 450) and Kaspar Friedrich Jencquel’s account of Lodovico Moscardo’s Verona collection, in his Museographia (Leipzig, 1727), pp. 124–5. 54 See especially Frojmovic, op. cit. (note 52), pp. 140–1, but cf. Deutsch, op. cit. (note 22), pp. 167–8. 55 Musei Imperialis Petropolitani (St Petersburg, 1741), p. 200. The ‘Hebrew inscription’ is the blessing for circumcision, so the function of the knife is obvious; L. Jakolewna, ‘Bernstein in der Petrinischen Kunstkammer’, in Palast des Wissens: Die Kunst- und Wunderkammer Zar Peters des Großen (Munich, 2003), p. 262. 56 Tradescant, op. cit. (note 36), p. 43. Stirn’s manuscript account of his visit to the Tradescant museum, now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (ms Add. b. 67), includes a drawing of this item: see A. MacGregor (ed.), Tradescant’s Rarities. Essays on the foundation of the Ashmolean Museum, 1683 (Oxford, 1983), p. 355 no. 438, pl. clxxii. 57 According to the ‘Book of the Dean of Christ Church’, c.1685, transcribed in A. MacGregor, Manuscript Catalogues of the Early Museum Collections, 1683–1886, Parti (Oxford, 2000), p. 37; the original object is now lost. 58 W. Boeheim, ‘Urkunden und Regesten aus der k. k. Hofbibliothek (Inventar des Nachlasses Erzherzog Ferdinands II. in Ruhelust, Innsbruck und Ambras vom 30. Mai 1596)’, Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 7 no. 2 (1888), p. 295; O. Reichl, ‘Zur Geschichte der ehemaligen Berliner Kunstkammer’, Jahrbuch der Preußischen Kunstsammlungen 51 (1930), p. 247. It is possible, of course, that these knives were in fact of Islamic origin, but these seem to be exceedingly rare; Islamic circumcision knives are mentioned as an item to be collected in Sturm’s Geöffnete Ritter-Platz, op. cit. (note 1), p. 42, but I can find only one actual example: a ‘Türckische Beschneide-Messer’, in the Kunstkammer of the Francke Foundations, Halle. See T. Müller-Bahlke, Die Wunderkammer: Die Kunst- und Naturalienkammer der Franckeschen Stiftungen zu Halle (Saale) (Halle, 1998), p. 43. 59 Diemer et al., op. cit. (note 24), vol. i, p. 53. 60 Ibid., vol. i, p. 70. Indeed, it seems that the only surviving object from this display is a Mamluk bowl with an Arabic inscription; see B. Staudinger, Die jüdische Welt und die Wittelsbacher (Munich, 2007), p. 17. 61 Diemer et al., op. cit. (note 24), vol. iii, pp. 366, 371. 62 Ibid., vol. iii, p. 378. 63 J. Warren, ‘Review of Dorothea Diemer, Peter Diemer, Lorenz Seelig, Peter Volk, Brigitte Volk-Knüttel et al., Die Münchner Kunstkammer’, Journal of the History of Collections 22 (2010), pp. 155–7. 64 Staudinger, op. cit. (note 60), p. 17. 65 Sturm, op. cit. (note 1), p. 42. 66 Müller-Bahlke, op. cit. (note 58), p. 43. 67 On early modern models of the Temple, see A. K. Offenberg, ‘Jacob Jehuda Leon (1602–1675) and his model of the Temple’, in Jewish-Christian Relations in the Seventeenth Century, ed. J. van den Berg and E.G. van der Wall (Dordrecht, 1988), pp. 95–115; R. Busch, ‘Johan Lund, seine “Alten Jüdischen Heiligtümer” und die Vorstellung vom Salomonischen Tempel’, Jewish Art 19/20 (1994), pp. 62–7; J. Sheehan, ‘Temple and tabernacle: the place of religion in early modern England’, in Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, ed. P. H. Smith and B. Schmidt (Chicago, 2007), pp. 248–341; and K. Whitmer, ‘The model that never moved: the case of a virtual memory theater and its Christian philosophical argument, 1700–1732’, Science in Context 23 no. 3 (2010), pp. 289–327. 68 C. Wallich, Die Mayerische Synagoga in Greiffswalde (Greifswald, 1708); cf. M. Korey, ‘Displaying Judaica in 18th century Central Europe: a non-Jewish curiosity’, in Visualizing and Exhibiting Jewish Space and History, ed. R. I. Cohen (Oxford, 2012), pp. 25–54; and N. Feuchtwanger-Sarig, ‘Synagoga Christiana: the “Mayerische Synagoga in Greiffswalde” reconstructed’, in Die Greifswalder Lehrsynagoge Johann Friedrich Mayers: Ein Beispiel christlicher Rezeption des Judentums im 18. Jahrhundert, ed. C. Böttrich, T. K. Kuhn and D. S. Kokin (Leipzig, 2016), pp. 501–52. 69 Korey, op. cit. (note 68), pp. 37–41. A catalogue of the Serpilius synagogue was published by the convert Moritz Wilhem Christiani in 1723. 70 Korey, op. cit. (note 68), pp. 31–2. 71 As an example, the twelve-year-old Arthur Schopenhauer wrote of his visit in 1800: ‘In the first building [of the Zwinger] are various things relating to the Jewish religion: a Temple Salomonis of wood, copied and measured in a completely correct manner . . . many old Jewish books, written very prettily with Hebrew letters on parchment and rolled up, as well as a variety of instruments for marriage, circumcision, divorce, and other Jewish ceremonies’ (as quoted in Korey, op. cit. (note 68), p. 30). 72 As quoted in ibid., p. 41. 73 Ibid., p. 36. 74 M. Korey, ‘Solomon’s Temple and the Jewish cabinet in the Dresden Zwinger: the search for their historic Traces’, in Fragments of Memory: The Temple of Solomon in the Dresden Zwinger: Facets of a Baroque architectural model and an early Jewish museum, ed. M. Korey and T. Kerelsen (Dresden, 2010), p. 20. 75 Mann, op. cit. (note 7). 76 G. Yogev, Diamonds and Coral: Anglo-Dutch Jews and eighteenth-century trade (Leicester, 1978); F. Trivellato, The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic diaspora, Livorno, and cross-cultural trade in the early modern period (New Haven, 2009), esp. pp. 224–50; D. Jütte, The Age of Secrecy: Jews, Christians, and the economy of secrets, 1400–1800 (New Haven, 2015), pp. 79–84. 77 On Court Jews and collecting generally, see Cohen, op. cit. (note 4); on Alexander David specifically, see V. Mann and R. I. Cohen, From Court Jews to the Rothschilds: Art, Patronage, and Power, 1600–1800 (Munich, 1997), pp. 59–65, and V. Mann, Jewish Texts on the Visual Arts (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 86–9. 78 T. Levie Bernfeld, ‘Matters matter: material culture of Dutch Sephardim (1600–1750)’, Studia Rosenthaliana 44 (2012), pp. 207–13. 79 , p. 212. 80 J.-M. Cohen, ‘The inventory of ceremonial objects of the Portuguese Jewish community of Amsterdam of 1640’, Studia Rosenthaliana 37 (2004), p. 307. 81 J.-M. Cohen, ‘From Rimmonim to Persian rugs: ceremonial objects from the collection of the Portuguese-Jewish Synagogue’, in The Esnoga: A monument to Portuguese-Jewish culture, ed. J. C. E. Belinfante, M. Stroo, and E. Kurpershoek (Amsterdam, 2001), pp. 74–85; and Cohen, op. cit. (note 80). 82 Y. Kaplan, ‘For whom did Emanuel de Witte paint his three pictures of the Sephardic synagogue in Amsterdam?’, Studia Rosenthaliana 32 (1998), pp. 134–43. 83 Korey, op. cit. (note 68), p. 53 no. 78. 84 It is certainly true that these two facets (pedagogy and polemics) were generally central to Christian Hebraism and Judaic scholarship, especially noticeable in seventeenth-century England in the debates surrounding the re-admission of the Jews under Cromwell; see M. Feingold, ‘Oriental studies’, in The History of the University of Oxford: Seventeenth-century Oxford, ed. N. Tyacke (Oxford, 1997), vol. iv, pp. 450–75; D. MacCullough, Reformation: Europe’s house divided 1490–1700 (London, 2004), pp. 503–10; G. Himmelfarb, The People of the Book: Philosemitism in England, from Cromwell to Churchill (New York, 2011), pp. 11–34; and S. Burnett, Christian Hebraism in the Reformation Era (1500–1660): Authors, books, and the transmission of Jewish learning (Leiden, 2012), pp. 93–138. 85 On Islam in the Kunstkammer, see Raby, op. cit. (note 2), and B. Karl, Treasury – Kunstkammer – Museum: Objects from the Islamic world in the museum collections of Vienna (Vienna, 2011). Deutsch, op. cit. (note 22), p. 251, notes a similar trend in the development of ethnographies of the Jews, shifting ‘from the Jew as symbol to the Jew as is’. 86 They are transcribed in Jakolewna, op. cit. (note 55), p. 262, as Sednjak Giritsch [Sedniak Girycz?] and Mjacha Jakowa [Miasha, Jacob’s wife?] – perhaps the parents of the newborn? © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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