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Bidding Information
Lot #    16707
Auction End Date    12/5/2006 1:26:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Candelabra
Title (Hebrew)    Tree of Life
Author    Erte
City    New York
Publication Date    1988
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Polished bronze, hight 390 x width 310 mm.
   A nine-point candelabrum, Tree of Life, the only candelabrum Erte has ever offered to the public. Erte released this menorah in 1988 as a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the State of Israel. With this piece, Erte celebrates the indomitable spirit, history, and heritage that are Israel. His Tree of Life menorah is a symbol of the unity of a faith, a people, and a nation, and stands as an emblem of the essential unit of civilization, the family.

The Tree of Life menorah salutes the 40th anniversary of the State of Israel with delicate and refined symbols. At the base of the menorah the design of the tree roots spreads outward. The roots wind and flow in a manner suggesting the widespread travel or Diaspora of the Jewish people throughout the ages. We are also reminded of the solidarity of cultural "roots," the unshakable community bond and the tradition of family that unites those of the Jewish faith around the world.

On the branches of the Tree of Life are thorns, painful reminders of the travails and persecutions that the Jewish people have suffered over time and which they remember today. Atop these branches, in contrast, are clusters of date leaves topped by split pomegranates. These are the fruits of the desert, the sustenance on which the ancient tribes subsisted. These foods of life become the points from which the candles extend. Finally, the two exotic birds on the branches of the Tree of Life commemorate the return of the Jews to the State of Israel. These wanderers, refined by long years of evolution and flight, have come to rest at last in harmony and peace upon their tree of life, their homeland, Israel.

In addition to its religious significance, Tree of Life is a unique and beautiful freestanding work of art. This magnificent menorah serves as a traditional candelabrum for Chanukah as well as any festive occasion.

The Russian-born painter Romain de Tirtoff, who called himself Erte after the French pronunciation of his initials, was one of the foremost fashion and stage designers of the early twentieth century. From the sensational silver lame costume, complete with pearl wings and ebony-plumed cap, that he wore to a ball in 1914, to his magical and elegant designs for the Broadway musical Stardust in 1988, Erte pursued his chosen career with unflagging zest and creativity for almost 80 years. On his death in 1990, he was hailed as the "prince of the music hall" and "a mirror of fashion for 75 years".

Associated Images
4 Images (Click thumbnail to view full size image):
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
America-South America:    Checked
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica
Other:    Menorah