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Bronze figurine of a male Jewish matchmaker with an umbrella at his side

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.151

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    Bronze figurine of a male Jewish matchmaker with an umbrella at his side

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Small bronze figurine of a Jewish shadchan wearing a long overcoat with an umbrella hanging on his arm. The man has several stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men: a large nose, hooded eyes, and a beard. In the 19th century, a Jewish man with an umbrella became a common stereotype and featured prominently in antisemitic depictions of Eastern European Jews. Umbrellas were a common accessory carried by Jewish peddlers who spent most of their time outdoors, and this stereotype may have originated with them. Shadchan (sometimes spelled, shadkhan) is the Hebrew term for a matchmaker, also known as a marriage broker. Male matchmakers are called “shadchans,” and female ones are “shadchanit.” In return for financial compensation, a matchmaker would suggest prospective marriage mates based on the compatibility of the individuals and the suitability of their families. The matchmaker would then coach them through the courting process. Over time, the societal role of the matchmaker began to decline. However, the archetypal character of a Jewish matchmaker who glosses over physical and character defects of their clients has remained. This figurine is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Date
    creation:  1850-1899
    Geography
    creation: Austria
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Contributor
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Biography
    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

    Classification
    Decorative Arts
    Category
    Metalwork
    Genre/Form
    Figurines.
    Physical Description
    Cast bronze figurine of a Jewish man in a rumpled, ankle-length coat, domed top hat, and flat shoes, with a large crook handled umbrella on his left forearm. He stands, bent to the left, gesturing with his left arm, wrist up, in front of his hip, and his right arm bent out at the side, also wrist up. His mouth is open wide, and he speaks with an animated expression. He has thick eyebrows, hooded eyes, a large nose, and a stringy beard. He stands with his feet close together on a flat plate attached to a white with gray streaks, square marble base. The figure is tarnished and discolored.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.875 inches (9.843 cm) | Width: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm) | Depth: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm)
    Materials
    overall : bronze

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Austria.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The statue 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 18:12:38
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn538247

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