Pewter Passover Seder Ceremony Plate

Description
This circular pewter plate is engraved for use in the Passover Seder ceremony. The Jewish community celebrates the Seder meal annually in commemoration of the flight of the Israelites from enslavement by the Egyptian Pharaoh as recorded in the Hebrew Bible. The plate is of 18th century German origins. “Priest, Levite, Israelite” is inscribed in Hebrew across the center with a crown and Stars of David as decoration. The Hebrew inscription also references the Engelmeyer family of Baltimore as well as the order of the Seder ceremony. Poverty, persecution, and political disillusionment swept through Central Europe in the early 1800s, causing Jewish immigration to America to swell. The plate was likely brought to Baltimore from either Germany by Solomon L. Engelmeyer (1804 – 1889) or his Prussian wife Hannah (1815 - 1903). They ran a shoe business and became US citizens in 1851. Solomon was the president of the Lloyd Street Congregation between 1851 and 1853. This Seder plate stands as a powerful symbol of the Jewish community’s search for freedom whether from enslavement in ancient Egypt or persecution in Europe during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
date made
18th century
place made
Germany
place used
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
Physical Description
pewter (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 356 mm; x 14 in
ID Number
CL.326825
accession number
83695
catalog number
326825
Credit Line
Gift of Miss L. Lieberman
subject
Judaism
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Religion
Many Voices, One Nation
Exhibition
Many Voices, One Nation
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History