Jewish Hanukkah Menorah Porcelain sculpture by Bailey Stern Leslie
A porcelain Art sculpture covered in a rich off – white glaze in the form of A Hanukkah Menorah, by Bailey Stern Leslie, the best known of the five of Toronto’s Canadian Five Potters. A beautifully potted round Hanukkah with nine wick-oil containers, or candle holders in the form of pots, mounted on a border.
A center with a sculptured figure of two Eastern European Hasidic Jews, a young boy with a yarmulke on his head, and long Payot, holding the shamash in the form of a pitcher, assisted by an older man with longer hair, beard, and Payot, dressed in a bekishe, with a Shtreimel on his head.
The long hair of the boy, and the older men, and the style of the Shtreimel, is reminding of an 18th century engraving depicting R' Yisroel Baal Shem Tov, also with long hair, and wearing a similar style of a Shtreimel. In my opinion, due to the artist’s Polish - Jewish background, this particular portrait of Besht inspired Bailey Stern Leslie in the creation of this sculpture.
The bottom of the sculpture is deeply hand signed by Bailey Stern, signed before firing, and stamped on the top before firing, by her seal with the initials BL.
DIMENSIONS: Diameter: 30 cm (11 3/4 in). Height: 23 cm (9 in).
CONDITION: In good condition, no chips, cracks, or repairs.
Bailey Stern Leslie was the best known of the Five of Toronto’s Canadian Five Potters, and was born 14 June 1904 in Lodz Poland, immigrating to Canada in 1910, Died on 11 September 1998 in Toronto, Ontario Canada. She had spent her early years in Cobalt, and moved to Toronto when she was a teenager. She completed her B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1926, and her M.A. in 1928. She began pottery study at the Central Technical School under “Bobs” Howarth. In 1945 she furthered studies at Alfred University, in New York State. Twice the president of the CGP, she was a consistent prize – winner and rigorous experimenter of glaze, her work has more than stood the test of time.
Her work was displayed at International Exhibitions: Itabashi Art Museum in Itabashi-ku, Florence, Geneva, Prague, and Syracuse, Washington. The book, “A fine line” by Gail Crawford, includes a biography, and pictures of the same artwork of Bailey Stern. The buyer will be provided with copies together with the certificate of authenticity.
Please note that the Hanukkah is truly a work of art, and was created not for commercial gains, but as only a single example, where there does not exist any other one.
We do not know the exact date as to when it was made, but her other porcelain sculpture published in the book, “A fine line” by Gail Crawford, is dated to the early Seventies.