Adath Israel


Spice Box


Wes ID #


Original Inventory #



12.4 cm (height) x 4.4 cm (diameter) (4 7/8 x 1 3/4 in)

General Description

Nothing in this spice box specifies that it was intended as a besamim: it is not in the shape of a tower, and there are no flags or spires. However, spice boxes began deviating significantly from the tower shape in the 19th century and often were created from other objects, such as toy wagons and model windmills. Floral patterns were especially prominent in Polish spice boxes. This particular box has a hallmark identifying it as Russian; however, much of modern-day Poland was in Russia at the time, due to the partitions of Poland that had occurred earlier. As a result, it is very possible that this object was created in Russian Poland, although it is clear that the object was created in the Russian Empire.

Description of materials

Silver: filigree and punched

Time period

19th century

Place of origin

Russia or Russian Poland

Holding Institution

Adath Israel Museum, Middletown, CT


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