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Musical chamber pot with an image of Hitler

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.27

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    Musical chamber pot with an image of Hitler


    Brief Narrative
    Ceramic, musical chamber pot with an image of Adolf Hitler inside the bowl, made by S. Fielding & Co., after the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. Chamber pots are portable containers that were used as toilets before the widespread use indoor plumbing. In Great Britain, they were also known by the slang term, “Jerry.” Coincidentally, “Jerry” was also a slang term for Germans used by the British, and Hitler’s image on the pot is a reference to this double meaning. The rim text, “Another violation of Poland,” is a reference to the German invasion of Poland. The pot has a music box attached to the underside that plays a song when lifted. Depending on the version of the chamber pot either “Rule Britannia” or “God Save the King” is played. Similar chamber pots, as well as ashtrays, were made that featured images of Mussolini, Hermann Göring, and Stalin as well. By utilizing cultural slang terms that were easily recognized British citizens, this object ridiculed Hitler and helped instill a sense of national unity against the German threat, represented by his image. The chamber pot was made by S. Fielding & Co., an English pottery company that produced high-quality tableware, pottery, and decorative pieces. The chamber pots were produced only for a short time, as the subject matter was considered to be in bad taste. Although not antisemitic, this musical chamber pot is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    manufacture:  1939 September-1939 December
    manufacture: Stoke-on-Trent (England)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    interior, rim, printed, black paint : ·[swastika]· HAVE THIS ON "OLD NASTY" ·[swastika]· ·[Iron cross]· ANOTHER VIOLATION OF “POLAND” ·[Iron cross]·
    exterior, front, printed, black paint: No 1 “JERRY”

    base, underside, inner rim, stamped, black ink: CROWN DEVON / FIELDINGS / MADE IN ENGLAND
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Manufacturer: S. Fielding & Co.
    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

    Decorative Arts
    Object Type
    Chamber pots (lcsh)
    Chamber pots.
    Physical Description
    Off-white, ceramic chamber pot resembling a teacup with a circular body, wide, flared lip, and a large, C-shaped handle on the right side. The inner base of the bowl is domed and bears a black caricature of Adolf Hitler's face, an iron cross at his neck. The inner rim of the bowl is printed with two humorous, English phrases separated by iron crosses and inverted swastikas, all in black. The rim is edged by two thin lines, one red and one blue separated by a narrow, off-white band. The same linear decoration repeats in a short section across the top of the handle. On the front of the exterior, a third slogan is printed above the outline of an iron cross. The pot has a mechanical music box fitted within the underside of the base, which is covered by a wooden panel. A T-shaped, metal turnkey and small round switch extend from the surface of the panel, which is held in place by three, evenly spaced prongs that fit into small holes in the rim. A manufacturer’s mark is stamped on the inner rim of the base in black ink. The interior bowl is discolored, the red stripes are faded, and the metal is lightly corroded.
    overall: Height: 4.625 inches (11.747 cm) | Width: 10.000 inches (25.4 cm) | Depth: 8.500 inches (21.59 cm)
    overall : ceramic, glaze, metal, wood, paint, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Stoke-on-Trent (England)

    Administrative Notes

    The musical chamber pot 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
    This page:

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