Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

Haman’s daughter dumps a chamber pot on her father’s head. According to a midrash—an elaboration of the biblical story—when Haman’s daughter saw her father parading Mordecai about town, “she thought that the man on the horse was her father and the man walking before him was Mordecai. So she took a chamber pot and emptied it on the head of her father.” When she realized her mistake, “she threw herself from the roof to the ground and killed herself.”

The midrash was created to explain why Haman is mourning in the biblical passage “Haman hurried home, his head covered in mourning” (Esther 6:12), which is inscribed to the left of the scene on this 18th-century pewter plate from the Isaac Einhorn Collection in Tel Aviv.

A second inscription on the plate’s rim includes the first few words of the prayer “The Rose of Jacob was cheerful and glad when they jointly saw Mordecai robed in royal blue,” which is recited in synagogues after the Esther scroll is read.

Made in Germany, the plate was probably used to bring food or gifts to neighbors and the needy during Purim, the festival established by the Book of Esther. Esther 9:22 notes that the Jews celebrate their deliverance from their foes with “feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts one to another and presents to the poor.”