Feast Your Eyes on These 7 An­tique and Mod­ern Seder Plates

The cen­ter­piece of the Passover meal is the plate dis­play­ing sym­bolic foods. From sil­ver to wood to ce­ramic, these hand­some ex­am­ples will in­spire you

The Jewish Voice - - SPECIAL FEATURES - By: Re­becca Stadlen Amir

The Passover Seder is one of the most sen­sory-heavy rit­u­als of the Jewish year. Themes such as cap­tiv­ity, re­demp­tion and re­newal are ma­te­ri­al­ized in the form of bit­ter herbs, pars­ley and hard-boiled egg. Dur­ing the hol­i­day, which com­mem­o­rates the lib­er­a­tion of the Is­raelites from en­slave­ment in Egypt, the star of the sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence is the Seder plate.

While there are spe­cific meth­ods of pre­par­ing and ar­rang­ing the items on the plate, there are hardly any rules about the cer­e­mo­nial plat­ter it­self. Through­out his­tory Seder plates have come in many shapes and sizes. Some are as sim­ple as a ce­ramic dish, some have built-in matzah hold­ers, and other more mod­ern de­signs have taken on a whole new art form.

As you pre­pare your own Passover Seder, here are seven Seder plates to be in­spired by.

1. The Is­rael Mu­seum says this is the ear­li­est known Seder plate in ex­is­tence, dat­ing back to pre-ex­pul­sion Spain. The He­brew in­scrip­tion in the cen­ter refers to the main com­po­nents of the hol­i­day.

2. This Seder plate by Is­raeli artists Johnathan Hopp and Sarah Aus­lan­der merges past with present. The artists searched through the flea mar­kets of Jaffa for used din­ner­ware and re­pur­posed the plates by seal­ing ce­ramic de­cals of the Seder ser­vice over the orig­i­nal plate pat­terns.

3. A three-tiered Seder plate from Aus­tria in the 19th to 20th cen­tury in­cludes re­cep­ta­cles for the sym­bolic foods atop a cabi­net of three trays for matzah.

4. Stu­dio Ar­madillo’s Tan­gram Seder plate is hand­made in Is­rael from ma­hogany wood. Its mod­ern, geo­met­ric de­sign adds a play­ful spin to the tra­di­tional Passover ta­ble.

5. Is­raeli ce­ram­i­cist Yaara Nir Kachlon cre­ated this ce­ramic Seder plate in her sig­na­ture creamy white fin­ish and light­weight feel.

The cen­ter dish is stamped with the He­brew word for Passover (Pe­sach). The sim­plic­ity of the set is meant to high­light the Seder foods and echo Kachlon’s de­sign in­tent: “We should en­joy the sim­ple things in life, but never in an or­di­nary way.”

6. The de­sign of this plate, from the late 19th to early 20th cen­tury Europe, was in­spired by ear­lier Seder plates made in Italy. Il­lus­tra­tions from Passover Hag­gadot are stamped and ham­mered into the sil­ver rim and a He­brew in­scrip­tion men­tion­ing the or­der of Seder and the bless­ing over the matzah are in the cen­ter.

7. Is­raeli ce­ram­i­cists Sharon Boneh and Hani Klein­haus of Fresh Pot­tery de­signed this earthy ce­ramic plate set with six small bowls for each of the sym­bolic Passover foods.

Re­becca Stadlen Amir is writer and stylist orig­i­nally from New York. Prior to re­lo­cat­ing to Tel Aviv, she was an edi­tor at Vogue for more than four years, cov­er­ing de­sign and lifestyle. In Is­rael, she has uti­lized her ed­i­to­rial eye to pro­duce con­tent strate­gies for sev­eral star­tups. In ad­di­tion to writ­ing for ISRAEL21c, Re­becca works as a stylist for brands and events. She loves to travel and ex­plore the world with her hus­band.

Seder plate by Johnathan Hopp and Sarah Aus­lan­der, 2010. Photo cour­tesy of the Jewish Mu­seum, New York

Ce­ramic lus­ter­ware, ca. 1480. Photo cour­tesy of the Is­rael Mu­seum, Jerusalem, by Nahum Sla­pak

A ta­ble set for Passover. Photo by Miriam Al­ster/FLASH90

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