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Silver colored iron dish with bas relief of 3 Jewish men on a bench

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.101

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    Silver colored iron dish with bas relief of 3 Jewish men on a bench

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    Brief Narrative
    European cast iron dish with a bas-relief of three Jewish men talking on a bench, captioned with three Jewish sounding surnames, “Mandelblüh, Afterduft, Finkelstein” made in the 19th century. The second name, Afterdruft, translates roughly to “fecal smell.” In the 18th and early 19th centuries, central and eastern European Jews were compelled to adopt surnames. Some Jews who did not comply, had low social status, or did not have the funds to pay an official for a pleasant-sounding name, were assigned uncomplimentary, malicious, or antisemitic names. The relief represents a stereotypical scene in European spa towns such as Carlsbad (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic), or Marienbad (now Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic). These are towns located on thermal springs, and have accommodations that use those springs for their medicinal and rejuvenating properties. Many European spa towns can trace their histories back to ancient Roman settlements. During the 18th and 19th centuries, European spa towns became increasingly popular as centers for health and social destinations for the affluent, the nobility, and European royalty. During this time, seemingly large numbers of Jewish guests also frequented the spa towns. However, antisemitic sentiment was also present. Derogatory postcards, called Judenspottkarten [Jew-mocking cards], and other souvenirs were produced and sold. A commonly depicted scene on these items includes a portrayal of three, usually older Jewish men, sitting on a bench sometimes with their umbrellas. The scene is possibly a modernized version of an older theme of three Jewish peddlers. Some versions replace the men with pigs who display stereotypical Jewish physical features, which mocked both Jewish spa culture and Judaism. This souvenir dish is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation: Europe
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, lower edge, engraved : Mandelblüh, Afterduft, Finkelstein
    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

    Decorative Arts
    Physical Description
    Heavy, oval, silver colored, cast iron dish with a shallow well and curved sides. There is a bas relief of 3 old men in Orthodox Jewish dress seated in conversation on a slatted bench. They wear top hats and long coats and have large noses, long beards, and sidelocks. The man in the center sits facing forward, hands resting on his closed umbrella. The man on the left is in right profile, with his arms on his crossed legs, chin in his hand; the man on the right is in left profile, arms folded in his lap. Along each side are a bush and tall tree whose leafy branches overhang the bench. Three German Jewish names, Mandelblüh, Afterduſt, Finkelstein, are engraved in a banner along the bottom. The dish has a smooth rim. The back is smooth, with mold impressions. A metal loop is inserted in the center, for attaching a stand.
    overall: Height: 5.250 inches (13.335 cm) | Width: 6.500 inches (16.51 cm) | Depth: 1.125 inches (2.858 cm)
    overall : cast iron

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The souvenir dish 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 18:12:37
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