During agricultural work in Bychawa (Lublin Province), a brass stamp was extracted from the ground, which is used to mark the book collections. The inscriptions translated from Hebrew show that this monument – dating from the 19th or the beginning of the 20th century – is probably related to the Rabinowicz family. That is, a well-known family of tzadikim who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries, among others, in Parczew and Bychawa.
– Objects identified with the material culture of Jews as so-called “loose finds taken under random circumstances” occur incidentally. Therefore, this discovery should be considered exceptional – says Dr. Dariusz Kopciowski, Lublin Provincial Conservator of Monuments.
It is a brass ink stamp with inscriptions in Hebrew. The conservation service was informed by Bartłomiej Chyża, a member of the board of the Association of the Guardians of Memory of the Bychawa Region.
Discovered by chance on one of the plots of the house
– The discovery happened by accident, in October, during agricultural work on one of the home plots in Bychawa in the Lublin poviat – says the conservator.
The stamp is in very good condition.
– It is patinated and has only a small dent at the jacket of the pressing part – emphasizes Dr. Kopciowski.
It performed a function similar to an exlibris
Thanks to the kindness and help of professor Andrzej Trzciński, it was possible to read and translate the inscription made in negative in Hebrew. It reads as follows: “Committee of the books of Mr. / our teacher Mr. Natan, son of father Dawid Chajm / Rabinowicz”.
– The context of the read text shows that the found stamp served a function similar to an exlibris and was intended for marking books in private or public book collections – explains our interlocutor.
The monument will go to the museum
The conservation services also turned to an employee of the NN Theater in Lublin, Jacek Jeremicz, for help in identifying the artifact, who initially determined that the seal could probably be associated with the known family of Rabinowicz – tzadiks living in the 19th and 20th centuries, among others in Parczew and Bychawa.
– Based on the data collected so far, it can be assumed that an abandoned or lost seal has a local record and was made in the 19th or early 20th century. A more precise determination of the origin of the monument will be possible at the stage of more advanced source research – emphasizes Dr. Kopciowski.
The relic will soon go to a museum specializing in collecting Judaica, that is most likely to the Museum – Synagogue Complex in Włodawa.
The stamp was discovered in Bychawa in the Lublin poviat
Main photo source: Bartłomiej Chyża