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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

214: Seder plate (Qe’arah)

Seder plate (Qe’arah) made for Rabbi Mordechai (son of the late Rabbi Zalma Schwab) of Friedberg, and his wife, Bayle (daughter of Rabbi Abraham) of Marburg The Seder plate (Qe’arah), the focal point of the Passover meal, holds the symbolic foods in the required order, to help with the narration of the Passover story. Seder plates were made in many materials, but pewter was especially popular because it could be engraved easily, and polished to resemble more expensive silver.

The centre of this lively example is decorated with the Passover sacrificial lamb at the centre of an 8-pointed star. Around the rim the playful Aramaic Passover song Had Gadya (‘One Little Goat’) is shown in 2019-12-04-s and images. The fate of a goat, bought by a father,  is related: it is eaten by a cat, who is bitten by a dog, who is beaten by a stick, and so on through fire, water, an ox, a ritual slaughterer, the Angel of Death, and God (represented by an arm wielding a s2019-12-04-). Brought to life through ritual, while simultaneously giving meaning to the foods it conveys, this ‘singing’ plate merges the senses to encourage an intensified dining experience.

Rabbi Yehudah Leib (active mid-1700s)

Berlin, Germany, 1763 – 4


Victoria and Albert Museum, London Young Bequest (M.151-1935)

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