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Terracotta figure group of 2 Jewish traders selling an old sagging cow

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.54

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    Terracotta figure group of 2 Jewish traders selling an old sagging cow

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    Brief Narrative
    Colorful terracotta figure group, Horse Trading, modelled by Anton Sohn in early 19th century Germany. It is a satirical and vulgar depiction of two Jewish cattle dealers using deceptive word play to sell an old, worn out cow to a German gentleman. Sohn (1769-1841), trained as a church painter, established a workshop in Zizenhausen, Germany, that was celebrated for its exceptionally detailed and elaborate terracotta figurines. His subject matter ranged widely and included genre and satirical groups on popular, topical themes, and religious figurines which were favorites for Christmas displays in homes, as well as businesses. This figure group is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Kuhhandel: So wahr ich leb sie giebt 2 Kübel voll alle
    Alternate Title
    Horse Trading: It's true as I live that she gives two buckets
    creation:  approximately 1819-approximately 1840
    manufacture: Zizenhausen (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artisan: Anton Sohn
    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

    Decorative Arts
    Physical Description
    Molded, polychrome, painted terracotta figure group of 3 men, 2 Jewish cattle dealers, and a non-Jewish gentleman, a potential client, gathered around a sick looking brown cow. The cow stands with her head hanging down to the left, mouth open, tongue protruding. She has a big eye and 2 short horns, and is very wrinkled, thin, and bony. One dealer stands on her front side and holds her tail up to give an unobstructed, detailed view of her sagging, bloated udder and rear orifices. In his other, left hand he holds a halter. He wears a wrinkled, dark green knee length coat, brown trousers, and a brown stovepipe hat, with a rope over his shoulder. He faces right with a big grin. The other dealer stands, body forward, next to the cow's rear which he points at with his left index finger. He is facing left, talking to and looking imploringly at the third man. His right hand is on his chest as if swearing to the truth of his words. He wears a worn, wrinkled brown coat and trousers, striped vest, and a flat cap, with a walking stick in his left hand. These men are clean shaven with thick sideburns and stereotypical Jewish facial features: hooded eyes under heavy brows, large, pointed red noses, and fleshy red cheeks and lips. On the far right stands a man in a black tricorn hat, blue/gray tailcoat with red piping, breeches, and walking stick, looking intently at the cow's rear. The figurine has a flat, open sliced halfback which is unpainted. The figures stand on an elongated, raised oval platform, with an uneven green top simulating grass, and a paper label adhered to the front side. See 2016.184.602 for another version.
    overall: Height: 6.875 inches (17.463 cm) | Width: 9.250 inches (23.495 cm) | Depth: 1.750 inches (4.445 cm)
    overall : terracotta, paint, glaze, metal, adhesive, paper, ink
    front, base, paper label, black ink : So wahr ich leb sie giebt 2 Kübel voll alle... [It's true as I live that she gives two buckets]

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Sohn, Anton, 1769-1841.

    Administrative Notes

    The figure group 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:
    2024-02-21 07:11:16
    This page:

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