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

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.22

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

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    Brief Narrative
    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)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    underside, trademark, black ink : ILLUSTRATIONS FROM / MERCHANT OF VENICE / SHAKSPERE / Made in Great Britain (around an encircled portrait of Shakespeare)
    underside, maker's mark, brown ink : EST. 1651 / ADAMS / TUNSTALL / ENGLAND
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Manufacturer: William Adams and Sons
    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
    Physical Description
    Circular, earthenware dinner plate with a painted scene of 2 old Jewish men with long hair and beards, wearing kippahs, conversing in a city square. Most of the image is drawn in black paint with color accents. The man on the left, Shylock, wears a blue cloak and stands facing forward, hands on his cane. His head is turned right as he listens to the other man, Tubal, who is in left profile. Tubal wears a green gown, red cloak, with a large yellow case at the waist. They stand in the foreground of a plaza lined with imposing Renaissance structures; the left building has ground and upper story colonnades with bright yellow columns. Clusters of people converse nearby. A black patterned border encircles the image. Next is a white band with "Shylock and Tubal" within a painted frame. The rim has an elaborate design of a wide center band with a light and dark brown frieze of cornucopia and Roman vases, flanked by a narrow orange circle and a narrow outer circle of black trimmed white ovals, with an orange rim edge.
    overall: | Depth: 0.750 inches (1.905 cm) | Diameter: 10.500 inches (26.67 cm)
    overall : earthenware, ceramic glaze
    underside, red marker : 19.

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The plate 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 07:11:15
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