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Christie’s Offering A Little Shpritz Of Memorabilia

This week at Christie’s, the venerable British auction house: an oil on canvas by Stephen J. Renard (British, b. 1947), titled “Yankee, Ranger and Endeavour II.” Estimate: $30,000-50,000.

Also at Christie’s this week: A bunch of Jewish tchotchkes, including ceramic spittoons, seltzer bottles and hand-painted Yiddish signs. Estimate: Priceless.

Since July 19, visitors to the auctioneer’s Manhattan galleries have been able to take in an exhibit of photographs, religious artifacts and period pieces that encapsulate the life and history of another venerable institution: the Eldridge Street Synagogue on the Lower East Side. The exhibit is intended to raise the public profile of the deteriorating 19th-century synagogue, the oldest American synagogue built by Eastern European immigrants.

“We wanted to reach a broader audience in New York and the New York area,” said Howard Zar, a board member of the Eldridge Street Project, a nonprofit group devoted to restoring the synagogue. “[People] go to Europe more easily than they would go from the Upper East Side to the Lower East Side.”

The synagogue does indeed have an illustrious history, with such bold-faced names as scientist Jonas Salk,

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