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Ginori porcelain figurine of the Wandering Jew

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.124

Capodimonte-style porcelain figurine of the Wandering Jew, manufactured by Ginori Manufactory in Doccia, Italy, likely during the early or mid-19th century. Originally, the Royal Factory of Capodimonte manufactured Capodimonte porcelain between 1743 and 1759. However, Capodimonte now refers to porcelain designs that have emotive Italian styling typical of those earlier pieces. Marchese Carlo Ginori established the Ginori Porcelain Manufactory in Doccia in 1735. During the first decades of the 1800s, Ginori purchased the Royal Capodimonte factory molds and equipment and began manufacturing Capodimonte-style porcelain. The Wandering Jew is an antisemitic legend of a Jewish man (in some versions named Ahasuerus) who taunted Jesus on his way to be crucified. In response, Jesus said, “I stand and rest, but you will go on,” dooming him to live until the end of the world or the second coming of Christ. The story’s origin is uncertain, although parts may have been inspired by biblical passages. Some versions name the wanderer Cartaphilus, and claim he was Pontius Pilate’s doorkeeper, who struck Jesus, urging him to go faster on the path to his crucifixion. The Ahasuerus version can be traced back to a German pamphlet published in 1602, which was translated into several languages and widely distributed. The story of the Wandering Jew has been portrayed and depicted in works of art, poetry, literature, plays, and films. This figurine is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

manufacture:  after 1821
manufacture: Doccia (Italy)
Decorative Arts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2021-12-09 09:09:40
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