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Bisque coin bank in the shape of a Jew with a garlic bulb under each arm

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.31

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    Bisque coin bank in the shape of a Jew with a garlic bulb under each arm

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Small, bisque, porcelain coin bank in the shape of a Jewish man sitting between two oversized bulbs of garlic. The man has several stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men: a large nose and ears, sidelocks, a beard, and hooded eyes. The man’s coy facial expression and the placement of his open hands on the lower portions of the bulbs imply a carnal subtext with the bulbs. Garlic is a vegetable that has long been associated with Jews. To the ancient Israelites, garlic was a central concept of a good life as well as a key ingredient to many dishes. Babylonian rabbis also considered garlic a necessity for a good diet. However, Jews’ affinity for garlic had negative connotations as well. The ancient Romans derogatively called Jews “garlic eaters,” and the smell of garlic was widely associated with Jews. Some associated Jews’ consumption of garlic with foetor judaicus, the antisemitic belief that Jews exuded a foul-smelling odor. During the 19th century, it was believed that Jews had an odor that resembled the smell of onion and garlic, caused by bad hygiene or a poor diet. This coin bank is one of the 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Date
    creation:  1800-1899
    Geography
    creation: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Markings
    front, left bulb, painted, black paint : So ä fain's [Such a fine little stink]
    front, right bulb, painted, black paint : Gerüchle! [smells] / [illegible text]
    Contributor
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Biography
    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

    Language
    Yiddish German
    Classification
    Decorative Arts
    Category
    Ceramics
    Genre/Form
    Coin banks.
    Physical Description
    Small, bisque porcelain coin bank shaped as a seated Jewish man flanked by two garlic bulbs, each as big as he is. His knees are drawn-up, close to his chest, and he has an arm wrapped around each bulb. The man has long, black sidelocks and a long beard. He also has a large nose, big ears, hooded eyes, and fleshy lips. He is wearing a gray, knee-length coat, a brown brimmed hat, and black, knee-high boots. Both bulbs have a small, horizontal coin slot near the top, and lines of black text, one in German and the other Yiddish, painted below. The man’s head is tilted to his left and his eyes are glancing in the same direction, toward the bulb. His arms are extended down behind the bulbs, with his hands grasping the bottom of each.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm) | Width: 4.750 inches (12.065 cm) | Depth: 2.250 inches (5.715 cm)
    Materials
    overall : porcelain, paint, pencil
    Inscription
    bottom, handwritten, pencil : 97 [illegible]. / 11 oz / 2784

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Germany.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The coin bank 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:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn537109

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