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Ceramic jug shaped as a comical Jewish man with a collection box

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.40

Toby jug depicting a man holding a collection box, made in England during the 19th century. Toby jugs were first made in the mid-18th century and are ceramic pitchers usually modeled on full-bodied representations of popular characters. The man has a large nose, fat rosy cheeks, and thick, dark eyebrows; all stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. The phrase “I PAY OUT” may be a reference to the stereotype of the greedy Jew. This stereotype dates back to the Middle Ages, when economic and professional restrictions were placed on early European Jews. These restrictions limited many Jews to the occupations of retail peddling, hawking, and moneylending. 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. The word “Ikey” (sometimes spelled Iky, or phrased as “Ikey Mo”) is a derogatory British term for a Jewish person. The word is an abbreviated version of the Jewish name Isaac (and Mo is an abbreviation of Moses). The term may have originated with the Ally Sloper cartoon series that began running in the British satirical magazine, “Judy,” in August 1867. This toby jug is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Date
manufacture:  1800-1899
Geography
manufacture: England
Language
English
Classification
Household Utensils
Category
Drinking vessels
Object Type
Pitchers (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Pottery.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
 
Record last modified: 2021-07-06 15:56:20
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn537126