This is the time of year to let tradition light the way. Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 20th as Jews begin to celebrate the victory of Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek empire in 165 B.C. When the Temple was reclaimed and rededicated, only a small jug with enough oil to last for a day was found to re-light the eternal lamp. The oil miraculously lasted for eight days.
This miracle is observed by lighting a menorah. The Hanukkah Menorah consists of eight lights with an additional light raised a little above or below the others. Although most people now use candles, lamps with oil and floating wicks were originally used and are still considered more traditional. The extra light is called a "shamash," or servant light, and it's used to light the others.
The antique menorah pictured here is sterling silver and has chased symbols and details. There are eight oil cups to be filled with oil held by the ninth cup, the ewer at the top left. It also has a snuffer. It sold for $826 at a recent Elite Decorative Arts auction in Florida.
See Kovels.com or Kovels Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2012 for more prices on menorahs.