1. Gifts in the name of
The mantle and the yad, the long pointer, were gifts to Jewish congregations. Jews get together to worship at a synagogue, a building where they pray and learn. Lessons from the Torah, the holy book, are an important part of this. Believers like to give presents that people can use in their worship, like the mantle to cover the Torah scrolls, and the pointer. The Hebrew words on the yad say ‘gift to the synagogue in Smilde from Mordechai Bloemendal’.
1A Mantle: Algeria; 1960; velvet, cotton, satin, metal thread; TM-6487-3
1B Yad: Netherlands; 1850-1875; silver; on loan from Jewish Historical Museum, M001328
2. From Jantje
In the Protestant Church people celebrate the Lord’s Supper, when they remember the death of Jesus Christ. The people in the church all drink wine from a fine cup that they pass to each other. The wine stands for the blood of Christ. This silver cup was a gift from someone called Jantje Person. His name is on it, so everyone can see that he gave it to the church.
Netherlands; 1625-1650; silver; on loan from Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, RMCC m744
A cup for all to drink from
Look at the cup used for the Lord’s Supper. Can you read the name of the person who gave it?
3. To be carried in parades
This is a processional standard, ‘alam in Arabic. It was made for a Shi’a religious community in Azerbaijan. The maker placed his name in the top left corner. ‘Alams are used all over the world as part of parades to mark the death of Imam Husain. He was a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and died at the Battle of Karbala in A.D. 680.
Muhammad Husain Rusheni; Azerbaijan; 1942 or 1982; bronze; TM-6303-3
4. A god in stone
An important person gave this statue to a temple. In the middle is Vishnu, one of the most important Hindu gods. The name of the god is written at the bottom in old letters.
India; 800-900; stone; RV-3436-135