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Pair of Adams stoneware candlesticks with scenes from Dickens

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.77 a-b

Set of Adams ceramic candlesticks with painted scenes from two novels by Charles Dickens. One has a scene from Oliver Twist, based on an illustration by George Cruikshank of Oliver being introduced to Fagin and the criminal gang. The other has an illustration by Phiz (H.K. Browne) from The Old Curiosity Shop, of the Marchioness and Mr. Swiveller playing cards. Fagin is a devil-like Jewish criminal whose portrayal exploits many negative antisemitic stereotypes. Referred to as The Jew, Fagin is greedy, vicious, and kidnaps small children to train as thieves. Dickens shared a common prejudice of the day, saying that if a character was a fence, he had to be a Jew because "that class of criminal almost invariably was a Jew." Some adaptations try to downplay Fagin's ethnic identity, or make him a comic figure, but his Jewishness is central to his depiction. These candlesticks are two of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

creation:  approximately 1895-1910
manufacture: Tunstall (England)
Furnishings and Furniture
Lighting devices
Object Type
Candlesticks (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2020-09-17 10:43:13
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