Pidyon Ha-ben Plate

Unknown Maker

A pidyon haben, or "redemption of the firstborn son," is a ceremony in which the father of a firstborn male gives a kohen (a priest descended from Aaron) five silver coins thirty days after the baby's birth. This is in accordance with the Lord's instruction to Aaron (Numbers 18: 15-16): "Every thing that opens the womb, of all flesh which they offer to the LORD, both of man and beast, shall be yours; however the first-born of man you shall surely redeem... And their redemption-money--from a month old shalt thou redeem them--shall be, according to your valuation, five shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary."

The baby is sometimes placed on a silver tray for the ceremony. This tray is decorated with a scene of the binding of Isaac, with signs of Zodiac on border.

Name: Pidyon Ha-ben Plate
Artist: Unknown Maker
Origin: Lemberg, Austro-Hungary, 1810-1824
Medium: Metalwork, Silver
Dimensions: 10 1/4 in.x 15 3/16 in.
Credit: Gift of Manfred Looser
Catalog Number: Unfiled