Pewter Passover Seder Ceremony Plate


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: GermanyPlace Used: United States: Maryland, Baltimore

Religion Association: 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

Credit Line: Gift of Miss L. Lieberman

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: CL.326825Accession Number: 83695Catalog Number: 326825

Object Name: Plateplate

Physical Description: pewter (overall material)Measurements: overall: 356 mm; x 14 in


Record Id: nmah_660491

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