New collectors often ask us to recommend an area to start collecting mezuzah cases and we strongly suggest that they get familiar with brass mezuzahs made in Israel in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Brass metal mezuzahs were very popular in Israel and as an export product in the 1950s and 1960s and were hung in many Jewish homes in the US and Canada in the 1950s and 1960s.

 They were made by metal working workshops and companies such as Pal-Bell, Dayagi, Oppenheim, Hen Holon, Tamar, Haluki and Nordia. Israeli brass works made in this period were known to be enameled or for an aged green patina or verdigris.

Pal-Bell was founded in 1948 by Maurice Ascalon as an Arts & Crafts company. Pal-Bell made ten mezuzahs which are shown in their catalog (above). All of the Pal-Bell mezuzahs are marked.  

Shown below is a catalog by Dayagi a metal arts company based in Bat Yam. They made mezuzahs (unmarked) including two iconic mezuzahs shown below. 

Oppenheimer Art Metal was founded in 1957 and also made several mezuzahs. They bought the Pal-Bell molds when Maurice Ascalon shut down the company in 1956 to move to the US.

 

Gallery of Israeli Brass Mezuzahs 

Here are a sample of mezuzahs from our collections. Most of them are unmarked.

You can find Israeli brass mezuzahs online on eBay and at auction in Israel. Bidspirit.co.il provides access to over 100 Israeli auction houses and they ship to countries outside of Israel. The mezuzahs typically sell for under $50 each with many in the $15 – $25 range.

1 thought on “Israeli Brass Mezuzahs 1950s – 1960s”

  1. Rabbi Howard Berman

    Superb, definitive overview of this subject! So many of these images are very evocative for those of us of a certain generation… indeed, the beautiful Pal-Bell oil jug design highlighted was on our family’s door when I was growing up in the 50’s- and still graces my study door today.
    This is indeed a very rewarding and accessible direction for collectors today!
    Thank you!

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