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Porcelain pitcher of a seated Fagin clutching his treasure box

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.68

Porcelain pitcher in the form of Fagin, a Jewish criminal referred to as devil-like from the novel, Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, 1837-39. His characterization is antisemitic and exploits many negative stereotypes. Called The Jew, Fagin is "villainous and repulsive," with black nails, fangs, and kidnaps small children to make them thieves. Dickens shared a common stereotype of the age, saying that if he had a character who was a fence for stolen goods, he had to be a Jew because "that class of criminal almost invariably was a Jew." Many adaptations try to sidestep the complications of Fagin's ethnic identity, and make him a comic figure, but the unpleasant Jewish stereotypes are central to his depiction. This pitcher is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

creation:  approximately 1920
creation: England
Household Utensils
Drinking vessels
Object Type
Pitchers (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2020-09-17 10:43:04
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