Egg Song of Songs (Folk Art)

egg song of songs

So this is what the Song of Songs looks like written on an egg. Why do people do these kinds of things? I think because they can. I found this photograph at Tumblr and wanted to post it here. It’s one of the strangest pieces of decorative art I think I’ve ever seen. From Poland (19th C.), it’s an egg decorated with a micrographic text from the Song of Songs. In general, I’m drawn to combinations of organic and inorganic things. What’s of particular interest here is the rounded surface upon which the text is written, and the shape that this rounded form gives to the text. I found, also at Tumblr, this little bit of explanation as well: “From the 18th century, and perhaps even earlier, hollow eggs on which sacred texts had been written in micrography were used to decorate European sukkahs. Not all the texts related directly to the holiday of Sukkot, the Festival of Booths: this example has Song of Songs 1-4:7 inscribed in miniscule letters. At times feathers were added to the hanging egg, so that it looked like a bird in flight.” If anyone please knows anything about this particular folk art tradition, please let me know and I’ll add to this post.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
This entry was posted in uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Egg Song of Songs (Folk Art)

  1. Barbara says:

    Wow, that’s awesome!

  2. David Kaufman says:

    Zak–apparently, E. European Sofrim used to compete to see who could do micrographic lettering the smallest. This comes to me from my great-uncle Irving, son of my great grandfather, Asher Sofer (later changed to Bookstein) who was Sofer to the Talner Rebbe (and who, in his career, completed 37 Torahs!). I also have an heirloom from him, a grain of wheat (preserved in a bottle) on which is inscribed the verse listing all the grains of the holy land–he would typically create such a talisman as a wedding gift.

    • zjb says:

      thanks, David. if you’d like, i’d be more than happy to post a photograph of your wheat grain with your commentary above!

      • David Kaufman says:

        hi Zak–am about to leave town (for the holy land) but am back in July and will find the thing then. all best, DK

      • zjb says:

        send me a picture when you can. happy trails!

Leave a Reply