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Van Dyck Ware plate with an image of Fagin with the handkerchiefs

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.85

Van Dyck Ware plate with an image of Fagin with the pocket handkerchiefs, a character from the novel Oliver Twist, 1838-1840, by Charles Dickens. 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. This plate is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Date
approximately 1920  (creation)
Geography
manufacture : Great Britain
Classification
Decorative Arts
Category
Ceramics
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:27:13
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn537255