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Ceramic change plate depicting a greedy Jew admiring his gold coins

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.28

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    Ceramic change plate depicting a greedy Jew admiring his gold coins

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    Brief Narrative
    Antisemitic change plate modeled as Jewish man lovingly staring at the gathered coins in his outstretched arms. The man has large ears, a large curved nose, and fleshy lips; all stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. The man’s black clothing conforms to the Jewish concept of tzniyus (modest dress and behavior), which Orthodox Jews adhere to for religious reasons. Many antisemitic depictions of Jews show them hoarding, counting, or handling money. These stereotypes 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 forced many Jews into occupations such as money changing (exchanging foreign coins or currency for those used locally). Additionally, medieval religious belief held that charging interest (known as usury) was sinful, and the Jews who occupied these professions were looked down upon, predominantly by European Christians. They were perceived as morally deficient and willing to engage in unethical business practices. The inability of Jews to legally hold other occupations, combined with Christians’ disdain for the professions Jews were allowed to practice, helped form the canard of the greedy Jew who exploited Gentiles. This canard was often visually depicted as a Jewish man expressing an exaggerated desire for, or counting money. This change plate is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, impressed : Stilles Glück [quiet bliss]
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    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
    Physical Description
    Oval-shaped, flat bottomed, decorative ceramic plate modeled as the upper body of a Jewish man pulling a pile of gold coins toward his chest with cupped hands. The man has wavy, black hair around a balding head, oversize ears, a large, hooked nose, and fleshy lips. He tilts his head to the side and smiles, as he looks at the pile of gold-colored coins gathered in his cupped hands at the end of his outstretched arms. He wears a mottled, dark green and black jacket and neckerchief tied around the high stand collar of a white shirt. His outstretched, cylindrical arms form the low sides of the long plate, while the lapels of his jacket and shirt form the flattened well. On the front, stamped below his hands, is a possible maker’s mark flanked by German text. A large section of the base’s edge is broken along the figure’s left side and is now missing. The raised areas of the dish are hollow beneath, and the underside is white and glazed. The surface is discolored and worn through, with faded paint on his lips and several losses on the surface of his hands.
    overall: Height: 6.500 inches (16.51 cm) | Width: 9.250 inches (23.495 cm) | Depth: 13.750 inches (34.925 cm)
    overall : ceramic, glaze

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The change 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 07:11:14
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