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Gray's Pottery pitcher with two Henry Heath transfer printed images of Jewish peddlers

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.23

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    Gray's Pottery pitcher with two Henry Heath transfer printed images of Jewish peddlers

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    Brief Narrative
    Mottled, purple, lusterware, ceramic pitcher made by Gray’s Pottery in England, likely between 1948 and 1961. Gray’s Pottery, operated in England from 1907 until the early 1960’s. The pitcher depicts two, transfer printed illustrations of Jewish peddlers originally drawn by Henry Heath as part of his Scenes in London series around 1840. In the first image (Heath’s print number 24) an old clothes peddler is depicted with a large nose, sidelocks, and a beard; three stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. Clothes peddlers dealt in old garments they bought, cleaned and repaired, and then sold for profit. In the second image (print number 23) the other peddler is selling strings of garlic. To the ancient Israelites, garlic was a central concept of a good life as well as a key ingredient to many dishes. However, some associated Jews’ consumption of garlic with foetor judaicus, the antisemitic belief that Jews exuded a foul-smelling odor. During the 19th century, it was believed that Jews had an odor that resembled the smell of onion and garlic, caused by bad hygiene or a poor diet. Peddling was a common occupation for Jewish men during the 18th and 19th centuries. However, old prejudices formed an antisemitic stereotype of the Jewish peddler. The stereotype originated from the economic and professional restrictions placed on early European Jews. They 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. This canard was often visually depicted as a Jewish peddler, an untrustworthy figure that sold cut-rate items at inflated prices. This pitcher is one of the 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    manufacture:  approximately 1948-approximately 1961
    manufacture: Stoke-on-Trent (England)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artist: Henry Heath
    Manufacturer: Gray's Pottery
    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
    Pitchers (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Ceramic pitcher decorated with a shiny, metallic, purple luster glaze with mottled white and light purple spots throughout. There is a large, transfer printed, black-and-white image within a white oval on each side of the vessel’s body. The base is circular and extends into a full center that curves outward before tapering-in again at the top. There is a slender, looped handle on the back and, directly opposite, a protruding, triangular spout on the top edge of the front. Inside the oval on one side is an image of a woman in a cap and full skirt with two brooms held in each hand. She is shaking the brooms in her left hand at a Jewish peddler with a large nose, curled sidelocks, and a beard. He is dressed in a tailcoat and breeches and wears two, stacked top hats. He carries a sack slung over his right forearm and has a cane in the opposite hand. He looks at the brooms as he steps away from her. Inside the opposite oval is an image of a peddler dressed in a knee-length coat with many buttons. He has long stringy hair, thick lips and eyebrows, and a large nose. He is standing in front of a tall, thin woman wearing a full skirt, and holding a cane. The man is holding up a string of garlic, as though showing her, with his left hand, and has a second string in his right hand down at his side. There is a wavy purple band along the top of the white handle, a design repeated along the interior of the rim. The interior is discolored from use and the white exterior surfaces are crackled decoratively.
    overall: Height: 7.000 inches (17.78 cm) | Width: 3.875 inches (9.843 cm) | Depth: 5.750 inches (14.605 cm)
    overall : earthenware, glaze, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The pitcher 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:
    2024-02-21 07:11:14
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