Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Adams scalloped soup bowl with Portia in court with Shylock

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.16

William Adams and Sons soup bowl with a scalloped rim with a colorful illustration of Portia and Shylock in the courtroom scene from Shakespeare's The 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 bowl is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

creation:  approximately 1801-1900
creation: Great Britain
Household Utensils
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-05-23 15:27:22
This page: