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Drinking glass with caricature a Jew on his hobby-horse, Old Clothes

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.8

Small drinking glass with a painted caricature of a Jewish man riding a draisienne (also known as a hobby-horse, and derogatively called a dandy horse), comprised of a sack on wheels. The original image is attributed to the satirical English printmaker, William Heath, and dates to 1819. This image has been reproduced in print form, and has been used to decorate other objects, such as glasses and plates. The draisienne was a precursor to, and has a similar design as the bicycle, but without pedals or gears for propulsion. A rider pushed themselves along with their feet, and coasted once at speed. After its invention, the draisienne was featured in many caricatures of the time that mocked aspects of society. In the image, the frame of the draisienne is replaced by a sack labeled, “Old Clothes,” and the caption reads “The Jews [sic] Hobby.” This references Jewish clothes peddlers, itinerant vendors who bought and sold used clothes, often carrying them in heavy sacks. The image and caption imply that clothes peddling was a choice or hobby of Jews, when the opposite is true. European Jews were barred from owning land, farming, joining trade guilds, and military service. These restrictions limited Jews to the occupations of retail peddling, hawking, and moneylending. Due to limited options, peddling was a common occupation for young Jewish men during the 18th and 19th centuries. Most peddlers hoped their hard work would serve as a springboard to more lucrative and comfortable occupations. This drinking glass is one of 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Date
creation:  1819-1899
Geography
creation: England
Language
English
Classification
Household Utensils
Category
Drinking vessels
Object Type
Drinking cups (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Drinking vessels.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
 
Record last modified: 2021-04-09 11:15:47
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn537062