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Silver plated cane knob shaped as a Jewish man in cap with sidelocks

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.57

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    Silver plated cane knob shaped as a Jewish man in cap with sidelocks

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    Brief Narrative
    Cast silver plated walking stick handle in the shape of the head of a Jewish peddler with side locks and sharply pointed nose. It has a hollow, open tubular neck made to be inserted over a cylindrical shaft. The soft cap and unkempt appearance were commonly used in representations of both Jewish peddlers and beggars, stock figures often portrayed in popular culture. European artisans commonly adorned everyday items such as ceramics, toys, and even walking sticks, with caricatures of Jewish faces. These walking stick knobs are examples of racial antisemitism becoming part of everyday life. This walking stick knob is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation:  approximately 1801-approximately 1899
    creation: Great Britain
    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

    Object Type
    Knobs (handles) (aat)
    Physical Description
    Silver plated metal knob for a walking stick cast in the shape of a man’s head with a lumpy cap, unkempt sidelocks, and facial hair. The features are stereotypically Jewish: hooded eyes, open wide beneath thick eyebrows, a hooked nose with a pointed tip, and thick lips. The mouth is open, as though speaking animatedly. The full, pointed beard extends outward, creating a short finger grip. There is an elongated, hollow, tubular neck with a high 2 button shirt collar. There is a rolled rim around the open neck bottom which would be inserted over the top of a cylindrical shaft. See 2016.184.60 for a similar knob inserted on a wooden cane.
    overall: Height: 2.625 inches (6.668 cm) | Width: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm) | Depth: 2.125 inches (5.398 cm)
    overall : silver, metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The walking stick knob 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
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