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Wood snuff box with a carving of three Jewish hareskin dealers

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.42

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    Wood snuff box with a carving of three Jewish hareskin dealers

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    Brief Narrative
    Wood snuff box with an image of three Jewish hareskin dealers carved on the lid. Snuffboxes were used to store smokeless tobacco, called snuff, which was inhaled through the nose. The use of snuff became popular in Europe during the 18th century. Snuffboxes were made in a variety of shapes and sizes. Smaller snuffboxes were carried by individuals, and large boxes were set on tables or other furniture and remained stationary. The boxes were made from several different materials, including wood, metal, ivory, and animal horns. They were often ornately decorated with jewels, precious metals, paintings or carvings. The image on the snuffbox depicts the Jewish hareskin dealers with stereotypically hooked noses, hooded eyes, beards, and pointed teeth. The scene, possibly based on a Dutch folktale about three Jewish hareskin dealers who swindle a miserly farmer, can be traced back to the lithographic printing firm of Johan Martin Billroth, which opened in 1829 in Groningen, Netherlands. This image was popular in northern Europe in the early 19th century and was reproduced in various mediums. The snuffbox is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation:  1829
    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

    Physical Description
    Small, rectangular, polished, light brown, wood snuff box with rounded sides and a wood-hinged, clamshell lid. A carved relief image on top of the lid’s dimpled surface depicts three tightly grouped men in conversation, from the waist up. The diminutive man on the left is in right profile facing the man in left profile on the right, and they point at each other with extended index fingers. Their faces frame that of the center man, who has a large nose and eyes that look to the right. They wear tricorn hats and collarless jackets with large buttons. The man on the left has a walking stick, and a long, sloped nose. The man on the right has a large, hooked nose. He is also wearing a vest, and carrying a sack over his shoulder. They all smile at each other with hooded eyes, and have trimmed beards and sideburns. The snuff box interior has small specs of dirt, and snuff remains. The bottom has a white sticker with blue handwritten text.
    overall: Height: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm) | Width: 4.000 inches (10.16 cm) | Depth: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm)
    overall : wood, varnish, paper, ink
    bottom, front right corner, on sticker, handwritten, blue ink : 3954 / pE4 / X5y5 / 18e ENG

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    France. Netherlands.

    Administrative Notes

    The snuffbox 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 18:30:17
    This page:

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