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Adams dinner plate with an image of Shylock and Tubal in conversation

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.22

William Adams and Sons dinner plate decorated with a colorful illustration of Shylock and Tubal from the Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice. Shylock is a Jewish moneylender who demands that his contract for a pound of flesh, owed by a youth who failed to repay a loan, be paid in full. Tubal is his friend and also a Jewish moneylender. First published in 1600 in England, Shylock's characteristics were based upon long standing stereotypes still popular in a country where Jews had been expelled since 1290, 300 years. 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 plate is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

creation:  approximately 1801-1900
creation: Tunstall (England)
Household Utensils
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:12:34
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