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Cork bottle stopper with a porcelain finial depicting a Jewish stereotype

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.34

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    Cork bottle stopper with a porcelain finial depicting a Jewish stereotype


    Brief Narrative
    Porcelain bottle stopper in the shape of a small bust depicting a Jewish man’s head, made in the Alsace region of central Europe during the 19th century. The man is wearing a skullcap and has a large nose, fat rosy cheeks, fleshy red lips, and hooded eyes; all stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. Jews have historically been persecuted and demonized. They have been associated with and called “children of the devil,” accused of deicide, treacherous conspiracies, and treasonous acts by influential figures and archaic Christian beliefs. These defamations are often visually depicted through antisemitic or malevolent features and characteristics, such as horns and cloven feet. They may also be depicted with distorted facial features, including bulging eyes and large or hooked noses. The Alsace region has a long history of crafting fine pottery that dates back to the Bronze Age. Many of the small villages in the region still have workshops that specialize in traditional techniques of decorating and creating pottery. This bottle stopper is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation:  approximately 1800-1899
    creation: Alsace (France)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    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

    Household Utensils
    Object Type
    Bottle corks (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Porcelain bottle stopper shaped as a Jewish man’s head with painted and glazed details. He has a large nose, plump rosy cheeks, fleshy red lips, hooded eyes, and brown hair. He wears a peaked white, cap with red line details around the bottom edge and the top point, which has flopped over to one side. A white kerchief is tied around his neck. Attached to the bottom of the stopper is a long, cylindrical, tapered, brown cork shank. A thin, pointed, silver-colored metal rod is protruding from the bottom center. There are small paint losses on his hair and cheeks. The head is not securely fastened to the top of the shank, and a second metal rod with a broken end protrudes from the bottom of the shank.
    overall: Height: 4.250 inches (10.795 cm) | Width: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm) | Depth: 1.500 inches (3.81 cm)
    overall : porcelain, glaze, cork, metal, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Alsace (France)

    Administrative Notes

    The bottle stopper 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:
    2023-01-31 14:16:39
    This page:

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