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Bottle stopper with a wooden finial depicting a Jewish stereotype

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.36

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    Bottle stopper with a wooden finial depicting a Jewish stereotype

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    Brief Narrative
    Carved and painted wooden bottle stopper in the shape of a small bust, depicting a Jewish man. It was made in Germany, approximately 1870. The man has a large hooked nose, fleshy red lips, and a beard 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 have also been depicted with distorted facial features, including bulging eyes and large or hooked noses. This bottle stopper is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation:  approximately 1870
    creation: Germany
    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
    Wood bottle stopper, carved as a bust of a Jewish man with painted details. He has a large hooked nose, large ears, fleshy red lips, rosy cheeks, and a beard. His brown hair extends up from the middle of his forehead to the top of his head. It is fluted at the front and in the back along the nape of his neck, while the top of his head is smooth, possibly to represent a skullcap. He has brown, circular framed, metal wire glasses that are fixed to his head at a small hole above each ear. He is wearing a discolored yellow vest decorated with clusters of small red dots over a white collared shirt, and a white tie with a light blue-colored knot. The solid bust sits on the short, circular neck of the stopper. The neck has a small channel carved around the outside and is hollow. It is designed to fit over a cork shank, now missing except for cork remnants on the interior surfaces. Visible at the top of the neck’s interior is a small, centered hole on the underside of the bust. The paint has worn away in several places, especially on the back.
    overall: Height: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm) | Width: 1.375 inches (3.493 cm) | Depth: 0.875 inches (2.223 cm)
    overall : wood, paint, cork, metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    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:
    2022-07-28 18:12:35
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