Seder Plate

This seder plate is one of a group of objects in the Spertus Institute collection designed and made by Friedrich Adler in the German Art Nouveau style, Jugendstil.

Friedrich Adler

This Seder set was produced by Friedrich Adler, an important member of Germany's artistic avant-garde in the early 20th century. Adler was interested in bringing artistic influence to industrial design and became involved with the Deutscher Werkbund (German Craft Alliance), an organization that promoted collaboration between artists and industry. Adler was invited by the group to create a complete synagogue interior and associated pieces for their landmark exhibit in Cologne in 1914. 
The set, along with other Judaica by the artist, was acquired from the exhibition by Julius Cohn, a lawyer and Jewish community leader. Julius’ son William escaped Germany with the objects, narrowly avoiding confiscation by the Nazis. It is rumored that a coffin was used to hide them. Tragically, Adler died in Auschwitz in 1942 and very little of his silver remains, making these exceptionally rare and valuable.
In the 1970s, Maurice Spertus befriended the Cohns, today known as the Hill-Page family. Mr. Spertus convinced the family that such wonderful pieces of art should be shared with the public in the context of a Jewish museum. The Adler pieces along with other fine examples of German Judaica were donated to the Spertus Museum in 1972.

Note in this Seder set the use of Hebrew as a decorative element, along with flowing, organic forms influenced by Art Nouveau.


  • Kiddush Cup

    Friedrich Adler
    silver, 1914

  • Havdalah Cup and Base

    Friedrich Adler
    silver, 1914

  • Etrog Container

    Friedrich Adler
    silver and ivory, 1914

  • Spice Container

    Friedrich Adler
    silver and ivory, 1914

  • Ner Tamid

    Friedrich Adler
    silver and ruby glass, 1914

  • Elijah Cup

    Friedrich Adler
    silver and moonstone, 1914

Name: Seder Plate
Artist: Friedrich Adler
Origin: Germany, 1914
Medium: Ivory, Silver
Dimensions: 4 1/16 in.x 17 3/16 in.x 17 3/16 in.
Credit: Gift of Anna Elisabeth Cohn Hirschland (Hill), Eleanor Amalie Cohn Pagener (Page), and Ernst Joseph Cohn Hirschland (Hill), in memory of their parents Julius Cohn and Bertha Hirschland Cohn
Catalog Number: Unfiled
Asher LibrarySpurensuche: Friedrich Adler, zwischen Jugendstil und Art Déco

Friedrich Adler (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche, c1994)

Asher LibraryFriedrich Adler: Ways and Byways

Batsheva Goldman Ida (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2012)