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Metal doorstop with a bas relief of 3 Jews on a red bench

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.107

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    Metal doorstop with a bas relief of 3 Jews on a red bench

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    Brief Narrative
    Painted, cast metal doorstop with an image of three Jewish men talking on a bench made in the 19th century. Doorstops were an important household item in the nineteenth century. They kept doors open to ensure the circulation of air throughout the house and became fashionable decorative items. The doorstop 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, 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 doorstop is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation:  1800-1899
    creation: Europe
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    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

    Tools and Equipment
    Object Type
    Doorstops (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Painted red and gray metal doorstop with a vertical bas relief of 3 men in hats and red robes seated close together on a red bench. Their indistinct faces have worn Jewish features, including thick eyebrows, large noses, and pointy beards. The man on the left is in right profile with his chin resting on his left palm and his legs crossed. The center man faces the viewer with his hands resting on the handle of his closed umbrella. The 3rd man is in left profile with his arms crossed over his chest. Bushes and trees with sky between their branches grow on either side. Much of the paint is faded or lost. The unpainted back is red with gray along the top. The horizontal base curls up and forward on the front with a narrow, curled tab in the center on the back.
    overall: Height: 3.875 inches (9.843 cm) | Width: 5.500 inches (13.97 cm) | Depth: 1.125 inches (2.858 cm)
    overall : metal, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The doorstop 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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