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Pewter pepper shaker as a bearded Jewish peddler in tricorn hat

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.7

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    Pewter pepper shaker as a bearded Jewish peddler in tricorn hat


    Brief Narrative
    Pewter pepper pot in the shape of a Jewish man in the tricorn hat, knee length jacket, and breeches fashionable circa 1775, known as colonial style. He has stereotypical Jewish features, such as a very large nose, but the fine, detailed metalwork make it a naturalistic portrait. The character and subject resemble depictions found in popular prints produced at the same time, known as Cries of London. These were picturesque scenes of city life that featured street characters, such as Jewish peddlers, as workers who provided useful services and vibrancy to urban areas. This pepper pot is one of the 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    undated:  approximately 1801-1900
    creation: Great Britain
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Household Utensils
    Object Type
    Pepper shakers (aat)
    Physical Description
    Cast pewter shaker with a patinated appearance in the shape of a man in a stippled tricorn hat, a collarless, three quarter length jacket with large buttons, stippled vest, loose breeches, stippled stockings, and flat shoes. He has a short, even beard and shoulder length hair with curled ends. His expressive face has stereotypically Jewish features: deepset eyes under thick brows, a large bulbous nose, and a thick lipped mouth open in a smile. His right hand grasps a sack slung over his right shoulder and his left hand is in his jacket pocket. He stands, feet shoulder width apart, right foot forward, upon a circular, flat, platform with incised blades of grass. It has scalloped edging and a rim on the underside, which is smooth except for the mold seam. There is a circular hole with a flat, screw cap in the bottom of the jacket tail to fill the hollow body with pepper or salt. There are 12 small holes in the top of the head to dispense the spice by shaking. Many areas, especially the jacket, are shiny with black discoloration.
    overall: Height: 5.125 inches (13.018 cm) | Width: 2.250 inches (5.715 cm) | Depth: 2.125 inches (5.398 cm)
    overall : pewter

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The pepper pot was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:30:17
    This page:

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