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Ginori porcelain figurine of the Wandering Jew

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.124

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    Ginori porcelain figurine of the Wandering Jew


    Brief Narrative
    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)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Manufacturer: Ginori Porcelain Factory
    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
    White porcelain figurine with hand painted details of a man in tattered traveling clothes with a weary, worried expression. He presses the fingers of his left hand to his creased forehead and rests on a walking stick held his right. He has a white/pink complexion, brown arched eyebrows, deepset, hooded dark eyes, a hooked nose, and brown sidelocks, mustache and pointed beard. He wears a black hat, a patched red tunic, a white, square collared shirt with a gilt line border, and baggy green breeches and white stockings with black shoes. His left foot is flat and his right leg is slightly bent, as if he has just gotten up from the tree stump near his leg. He stands on a square white pedestal with a green and brown top and a gold band around the sides.
    overall: Height: 5.750 inches (14.605 cm) | Width: 2.750 inches (6.985 cm) | Depth: 2.750 inches (6.985 cm)
    overall : soft paste porcelain, ceramic glaze, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Doccia (Italy)

    Administrative Notes

    The figurine 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:

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