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Bronze dish with bas relief of 3 Jewish men on a bench

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.100

Bronze dish with a bas-relief of three Jewish men talking on a bench, captioned, “Karlsbader Idyll,” made in Bohemia during the 19th century. The relief represents a stereotypical scene in 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, a seemingly large numbers of Jewish guests also frequented the spa towns. Carlsbad previously had a prohibition against Jewish residency that was repealed in 1793. After the repeal, another fifty years of litigation attempted to keep Jews from moving into the town. However, in approximately 1848, Jews began to settle in Carlsbad even though antisemitic sentiment was still 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:  1800-1899
creation: Bohemia (Czech Republic)
Decorative Arts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2021-04-08 12:32:13
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