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

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.8

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


    Brief Narrative
    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.
    creation:  1819-1899
    creation: England
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, sack, hand painted, black paint : Old Clothes
    front, below image, hand painted, black paint : The Jews [sic] Hobby
    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
    Drinking vessels
    Object Type
    Drinking cups (lcsh)
    Drinking vessels.
    Physical Description
    Small, cylindrical, clear drinking glass with a colorful caricature and caption painted on the surface. It depicts a stereotypical Jewish man with a very long, hooked nose, wearing a wide-brimmed black hat, and dressed in a red riding coat and white breeches. His arms extend straight out as he holds the T-shaped handlebars of a draisienne (also known as a hobbyhorse). He sits astride the body of the vehicle, which is depicted as a large, elongated, green sack labeled, “Old Clothes.” Two spoked wheels are attached to the sack, each kicking up dust from a dirt road as he propels it forward with long strides. A narrow, red line is painted near the slightly flared rim, and a faded one near the base. A black, cursive caption is painted beneath the image and has been partially worn away. There are brown accretions on the surface beside the man’s head, just below the rim line, and many paint losses along the base line.
    overall: Height: 4.000 inches (10.16 cm) | Diameter: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm)
    overall : glass, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The drinking glass 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 18:12:34
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