Elaborate Box Purchased by Rebbe Rayatz for his Mechutan Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gurary – With Rabbi Gurary's ...
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Elaborate Box Purchased by Rebbe Rayatz for his Mechutan Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gurary – With Rabbi Gurary's Initials on the Lid
Elaborate box purchased by Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson – Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch, for his mechutan R. Menachem Mendel Gurary (father of R. Shemaryahu Gurary – the Rashag).
Leather-coated wood, with tortoise-shell lid set in a silver frame (sterling silver, marked: Chester, England 1922: maker's hallmark - Clark & Sewell). The initials M and g (Mendel Gurary), made of silver, are set into the lid. The inside of the box is lined with red fabric.
Letter of authenticity enclosed (handwritten note, in English), signed in Hebrew by Rebbetzin Chana Gurary (1899-1991), eldest daughter of Rebbe Rayatz and doughder-in-law of R. Menachem Mendel Gurary: "I hereby gift… a unique gift my father bought for my father-in-law Menachem Mendel Gurary. This box was made from sterling silver and tortoise shell. My father bought it in Rostov. It was imported from England. He had my father-in-law's initials put on MG. They put a small g instead of large G". The letter is dated 5th November, 1989.
R. Menachem Mendel Gurary (died 10th Sivan 1946) was a prominent Chassid of Rebbe Rashab and mechutan of Rebbe Rayatz. In 1921, his son R. Shemaryahu married the eldest daughter of Rebbe Rayatz, Chana Gurary. Based on the letter of authenticity, Rebbe Rayatz gave this box to his mechutan R. Menachem Mendel Gurary soon after their children's wedding in Rostov in Sivan 1921.
For one hundred and two years (1813-1915), Chabad Chassidut was centered in the town of Lubavitch, Belarus. In 1915, during WWI, Rebbe Rashab fled Lubavitch and settled in Rostov-on-Don, in south-western Russia. Before his passing on 2nd Nissan 1920, aware that his state of health was deteriorating, the Rashab chose Rabbi Shemaryahu Gurary (the Rashag), son of R. Menachem Mendel Gurary of Kremenchuk, for his eldest granddaughter Rebbetzin Chana. The tena'im were drawn on 12th Tamuz 1920, three months after the death of the Rashab and the wedding took place about one year later, on 11th Sivan 1921. Due to the difficult situation in Russia at that time, the wedding was a modest and small affair, and took place in the courtyard of Rebbe Rayatz in Rostov. The book Shemuot V'Sipurim describes the despondent atmosphere at the wedding: hearing Niggun Daled Bovos played at the wedding, Rebbe Rayatz wept and thumped the table with his hand. The Rashab's chair stood empty at the head of the table in the same place as in the past, and no one touched it. The mood was so morose that no one even danced.
8X13.5X12 cm. Good condition. Minor damage. Peeling and tears to leather coating.