Circumcision shields (Hebrew: מָגֵן magen)
This is the first
circumcision shield I bought. Listed as a Russian silver
circumcision shield, it arrived from a seller in Poland. The
shield is stamped "84" and "1860."
Beware: I have seen
several of these shields on eBay recently; therefore, I believe
this is a counterfeit. Keep exploring CircCentral to learn
how to spot fakes. Also, see the page devoted to counterfeit
To the left is a silver circumcision shield dated
1790. Its origin is either the Middle East or North Africa.
A similar shield is in the British Museum collection.
the right is an unusual and elegant circumcision
shield from Turkey, c. 1880. Some
gilding is present.
The beautiful shield on the
left may truly be one of a kind, the only one in gold I have ever
seen. It is dated 1683 with both Hebrew and Ladino inscriptions.
The shield weighs 18.4 grams and on one side has a detailed
engraving of two lions flanking a crown and Star of David.
On the reverse side is an embossed deer.
This is a Moroccan shield purchased
from an Israeli vendor. The age was listed as 50 to 70
Here is another Moroccan
shield, 2 3/4 inches by 1 1/2 inches.
To the left is a
1920s silver circumcision shield by Bezalel. It
measures 6.5 cm in length, a bit longer than other clamps. The
Bezalel School is
the premier art academy in Israel, known for
its art nouveau-influenced designs.
Below is a simple circumcision shield.
It is unmarked. The eBay vendor is from Israel.
Here is a beautiful
silver shield, Polish, 1900s.
To the left is a
circumcision shield from Fred Haslam & Co., Brooklyn,
New York, c. 1900. The catalog price was
The shield below is an obvious and poorly-made
counterfeit. It is too small and flimsy to be of
practical use, measuring 3x5 cm. The metal, presumably
silver, is malleable. There are multiple small
imprints, including "1894" and "84."
I purchased this item because it was inexpensive and
illustrates the fakes available on eBay. When the
seller from Germany first shipped the shield to me, the
package was lost. His reply was, "Don't worry, I have
two of them!" He sent me another one of these "rare"
items. I have followed his auctions: he has
dozens of these counterfeit shields. Keep
reading--there is a CircCentral page devoted to counterfeit
suspect another fake on the right. This was sold
on eBay as a silver shield from Poland. It is
stamped "1870." I believe it is fake
because this Italian vendor sells quite a bit of other
counterfeit Judaica. She frequently offers
counterfeit yads (Torah pointers), besamim (spice)
boxes and marriage rings.
On the next page are circumcision sets: knives and
shields together. Just click the button below.
Robert Lehrer, MD