Auction 8 Genazym 8 - Prime selection of historical Jewish Antiques
Dec 8, 2020

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LOT 43:

Exquisite Wimpel for Sefer Torah. Germany, 1843.

Exquisite wimpel fashioned of 4 linen sashes ...

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Sold for: $6,000
Start price:
$ 6,000
Estimated price:
$8,000 - $12,000
Auction house commission: 22% More details

Exquisite Wimpel for Sefer Torah. Germany, 1843.

Exquisite wimpel fashioned of 4 linen sashes delicately embroidered with colored thread. Superb workmanship featuring clusters of flowers, animals, birds and human figures.

Embroidered in the center of the wimpel is the name Shimon ben Harav Naftali Gavriel a.k.a. Hersh Friedman. Born with mazal tov on Shabbos K’[odesh], 11 Marcheshvan, 1843. May Hashem raise him to Torah, chuppah, and good deeds. Amen, sela!

The wimpel features a breathtaking variety of magnificently embroidered designs, some alluding to the above text: The month of Cheshvan is depicted by its zodiac of a scorpion; the word ‘Torah’ is embroidered within an open Sefer Torah; and above the word ‘chuppah, ’ a rabbi holds two goblets beneath a chuppah, etc.
German Jews commemorated special events that occurred during the year of the child’s birth on his wimpel. On this wimpel, beneath the year, a steamship and wheel are embroidered into the fabric to mark the technological advances of the propeller engine.

Measurements: 3.10 meters x 17 cm. Slight holes and stains, mended.
The concentrated embroidered embellishments on this wimpel transform this piece into a rare work of art.

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History of the Wimpel
The German (Yekke) custom of the wimpel, a word derived from the German word ‘swaddling cloth, ’ derives from an old Jewish practice when Torah scrolls were wrapped with a cloth, known in Hebrew as a ‘mappah, ’ or in German, a ‘wimpel.’ The wimpel is a long, linen sash used to swaddle a baby boy at his bris milah and later cut to four equal sashes that were sewn back together into a long strip to be used as a binding for the Sefer Torah. The boy’s name, along with blessings, verses from prayers, and assorted embellishments, are embroidered onto the wimpel.
The first time a child goes to shul, he takes his wimpel and uses it to wrap the Sefer Torah. This wimpel is used again during glilah on the week of his bar mitzvah.
Most antique wimpels went up in flames on Kristallnacht or were destroyed during the Holocaust years.

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