Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Unpleasant looking bust of a Jewish man picking his nose

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.38

Painted ceramic figurine in the shape of a caricatured Jewish man picking his nose, made in approximately 1820. The man is wearing a skullcap and has a large hooked nose, fleshy lips, hooded eyes, sidelocks, and curly hair; all stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. The action of the man picking his nose may be an attempt to draw attention to the stereotype of the large Jewish nose. Jews have historically been persecuted and demonized through the use of antisemitic or malevolent physical 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 action of nose picking is also generally condemned and thought of as inappropriate or unclean in most cultures. This reinforces the stereotype of Jews as dirty and vectors of disease. Pejoratives such as “dirty Jew” and antisemitic myths such as a Jewish odor caused by bad hygiene or a poor diet were common during the 19th century. This bust is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

creation:  approximately 1820
creation: Europe
Decorative Arts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-06-13 12:19:49
This page: