An Heirloom from The Pale of Settlement

I’ve written a couple of posts about the tragic history of the Jewish population in the towns the Scheshkos were from.

Today I thought I’d share a light post.

These kiddush cups came with Isidore when he immigrated to the United States.

I don’t think they are silver because they seem to be permanently tarnishing in parts. However, it’s possible that they are silverplate. I wonder if the base could be something called German plate, which is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc, but I have no way of knowing. Best guess is some sort of silverplate as I have some silverplated objects from among my wedding gifts. The plating is probably wearing off

These two cups do not match, and they are not very ornate, although they each have a design engraved near the rim. I suspect that the larger cup has the tree of life replicated over and over, encircling it. The smaller cup has a design that looks like berries. Could they be grapes?

That they are the only objects we have that Isidore brought with him makes them very special.

A kiddush cup is used for the blessing over the wine for both Shabbat and for holidays. They’ve been used for many, many Passovers.

Do you have an heirloom that belonged to a branch of your family that you know very little about (the branch, not the heirloom)?