Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Avon Ware Fagin Character jug

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.88

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Avon Ware Fagin Character jug

    Please select from the following options:


    Brief Narrative
    Avon Ware character mug made in England, likely in the 20th century, and modeled after Fagin, a character from Charles Dickens' novel, Oliver Twist. Character jugs are ceramic pitchers usually modeled on the head and shoulders of popular characters. They are similar to Toby jugs, which are pitchers modeled on full-bodied representations of popular characters. On the jug, Fagin is portrayed with a beard, a large nose, thick eyebrows, and hooded eyes; all stereotypical physical features attributed to Jewish men. In “Oliver Twist,” Fagin is the villainous leader of a gang of children whom he has instructed in the ways of criminality. He attempts to corrupt the protagonist, Oliver, in the same manner. In the novel, Fagin is described in his first scene as hunched over a fire holding a toasting fork. This imagery reinforces the antisemitic stereotype of Jewish associations with the devil, due to the toasting fork’s resemblance of a pitchfork. He is repeatedly referred to as “the Jew” in the book and also emphasized as a greedy, miserly, and cowardly character; all traits aligning with common antisemitic stereotypes. However, in a later edition of the novel, Dickens reduced his use of “the Jew,” substituting it for pronouns or other phrases. Even in this later version, Fagin is still repeatedly and negatively referred to as “the Jew,” and remains emblematic of multiple antisemitic canards. Later writings by Dickens portrayed Jews in a more positive light, however, the reprehensible Fagin is his most remembered Jewish character. This jug is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    manufacture: England
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    underside, impressed : ENGLAND / FAGIN
    underside, stamped, blue ink : HAND(PAINTED?) / Avon Ware / MADE IN ENGLAND
    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

    Household Utensils
    Drinking vessels
    Object Type
    Mugs (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Porcelain mug modeled in the form of a man’s head with a bright red beard, a large hooked nose, thick eyebrows, and hooded eyes. His mouth is slightly opened in an ambiguous smile revealing one yellowed tooth. The base of the cup is the man’s diminutive shoulders which are clothed in a blue shirt and a dark brown jacket. The three tines of a small, yellow toasting fork are visible resting against his left shoulder. The top of his head has a wide opening for pouring, with the front at his forehead, and the back and sides in black, like the bottom portion of a hat. A black, narrow, C-shaped handle is attached to the back of his head, extending from the rim to the top of his collar. The underside of the base has a raised edge with an inset surface. Two lines of impressed text are in the center above a stamped, oval-shaped, blue maker’s mark with interior text. The surface has crazing throughout.
    overall: Height: 4.125 inches (10.477 cm) | Width: 3.500 inches (8.89 cm) | Depth: 6.000 inches (15.24 cm)
    overall : porcelain, glaze, paint, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The jug 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 07:11:15
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us