Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

Porcelain figure of Shylock, richly dressed and carrying a dagger

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.13

Colorful porcelain figurine of Shylock from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. Shylock is a Jewish moneylender who demands that his contract for a pound of flesh, owed him by a youth who failed to repay a loan, be paid in full. First published in 1600 in England, Shylock's characteristics are based upon long standing, stereotypes, still popular in a country where Jews had been expelled 300 years, since 1290. Although some scenes make him sympathetic, and show how society and his Christian enemies cruelly mistreat him, he is punished and forced to convert. The play was extremely popular in Nazi Germany, with fifty productions from 1933-1945. Despite the stereotypical and anti-Jewish elements, the play continues to spark debates over whether it must be considered antisemitic. This figurine is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Date
approximately 1801-1900  (creation)
Geography
creation : Great Britain
Classification
Decorative Arts
Category
Ceramics
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Expand all
 
Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:08:13
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn537069