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Record 9/9
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Collection KKMI
Description Silver Rimonim. Torah Rimonim are used to adorn both Sephardic Torah cases that house the Torah scrolls and the handles of the Torah rollers of the Ashkenazic Torah scrolls. Made by Colonial New York silversmith Myer Myers in 1782 for the early scrolls of Mikveh Israel. Exhibited by Yale University for the exhibit "Myer Myers, Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York". The exhibit will then traveled to the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles and Winterthur Museum in Delaware until mid-September, 2002. Returned.
Made Myer Myers, ca. 1782
Material Silver
Object Name Rimonim
Owned KKMI
Provenance Myer Myers was born in New York City in 1723, the son of Solomon and Judith Myers, and was one of the most accomplished craftsmen working in pre-industrial America. A contemporary of Paul Revere's, Myers is not nearly as well known yet is counted among a select group of highly respected merchant-artisans of the time. Myers was the most productive silversmith working in New York during the late Colonial period and his ritual and secular silver is the largest body of extant work by a Jewish silversmith from anywhere in Europe or America prior to the nineteenth century.

Myers became the dominant figure in a large, well-established community of silversmiths that included native craftsmen of Dutch, Huguenot, and English ancestry, as well as immigrants from Europe. His renown as an artisan came from his ability to execute superb custom order work for the wealthiest patrons. His New York workshop was, in the third quarter of the eighteenth century, one of the few that supplied such labor-intensive, richly ornamented forms as candlesticks, pierced bread baskets, covered jugs, and cruet stands, and alone in the production of such specialized work as Torah finials. Myer's output was not, however, confined to these style-conscious forms. From the mid-1750s his shop generated a steady income by satisfying the demand for more modest forms of hollowware and flatware from a larger, less affluent clientele.

After the traditional seven-year apprenticeship with a master silversmith, he registered as a Goldsmith in 1746, the first native Jew within the British Empire to establish himself as a working retail silversmith since the incorporation of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in 1327. Myers had set himself up as an independent maker by 1753, a time when the leading merchants in New York, where the British army in North America was headquartered, made fortunes supplying the soldiers during England's wars with Spain and France in the 1740s and, later, the Seven Years' War.
Images courtesy of Congregation Mikveh Israel.

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Last modified on: April 19, 2012