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Terracotta figurine of a Jewish ribbon peddler with a basket of colorful cloth

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.21

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    Terracotta figurine of a Jewish ribbon peddler with a basket of colorful cloth


    Brief Narrative
    Colorful terracotta figurine modelled by Anton Sohn in in early 19th century Germany. It is a satirical depiction of an unpleasant looking and unkempt Jewish peddler selling ribbons. Sohn (1769-1841), trained as a church painter, established a workshop in Zizenhausen, Germany, that was celebrated for its exceptionally detailed and elaborate terracotta figurines. His subject matter ranged widely and included genre and satirical groups on popular, topical themes, and religious figurines which were favorites for Christmas displays in homes, as well as businesses. This figurine is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Ich bin doch Handelsmann
    Alternate Title
    I'm a Trading man
    manufacture:  after 1830
    manufacture: Zizenhausen (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artisan: Anton Sohn
    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

    French German
    Decorative Arts
    Physical Description
    Molded, polychrome terracotta figurine of a Jewish ribbon peddler in a worn brown top hat, and a long, wrinkled, dark green jacket and stained, light green, 2 button vest. He wears a discolored white collared shirt with a black tie and red kerchief. A large, woven basket full of colorful ribbons and cloth hangs at his waist, supported by a black strap slung over his right shoulder and under his left arm. He is looking to his left and lifting a large, white cloth to display his wares. He has thick eyebrows, hooded eyes, a large hooked nose, and fleshy, red lips pressed tight in an unpleasant grin. He stands on a small, green, oval base with a paper label with German and French text affixed to the front. The figure is poorly painted and the face modelling is poorly formed. It has an open, flat sliced, halfback with a hollow concave interior, unpainted with furrowed lines. For another version, see 2016.184.633. Some Sohn molds were used into the 20th century and this may be a later version of a model originally made 1820-30.
    overall: Height: 6.250 inches (15.875 cm) | Width: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm) | Depth: 2.375 inches (6.032 cm)
    overall : terracotta, paint, glaze, metal
    front, base, paper label, black ink : Ich bin doch aha Handelsmann / Je vend en gros et en detail [I'm a trading man / I sell wholesale and retail]
    back, base, red marker : 23.

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Sohn, Anton, 1769-1841.

    Administrative Notes

    The figurine 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 07:11:16
    This page:

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