Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Woodcut print of a Jewish peddler showing clothes to two women

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.183

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Woodcut print of a Jewish peddler showing clothes to two women

    Please select from the following options:


    Brief Narrative
    Woodcut print depicting a peddler showing old clothes to two women. He has dark skin, thick eyebrows, a large nose, and thick, fleshy lips; all stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. Peddlers were itinerant vendors who sold goods to the public. They usually traveled alone and carried their goods with them as they went. Clothes peddlers dealt in old garments they bought, cleaned and repaired, and then sold for profit. Peddling was a common occupation for Jewish men during the 18th and 19th centuries. However, old prejudices formed an antisemitic stereotype of the Jewish peddler. The stereotype originated from the economic and professional restrictions placed on early European Jews. They were barred from owning land, farming, joining trade guilds, and military service. These restrictions limited Jews to the occupations of retail peddling, hawking, and moneylending. Additionally, medieval religious belief held that charging interest (known as usury) was sinful, and the Jews who occupied these professions were looked down upon, predominantly by European Christians. They were perceived as morally deficient and willing to engage in unethical business practices. The inability of Jews to legally hold other occupations, combined with Christians’ disdain for the professions Jews were allowed to practice, helped form the canard of the greedy Jew who exploited Gentiles. This canard was often visually depicted as a Jewish peddler, an untrustworthy figure that sold cut-rate items at inflated prices. The print is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Old Clothes
    creation:  1800-1899
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, bottom right margin, handwritten, pencil : Lenoir
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artist: Lenoir
    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

    Object Type
    Wood-engraving (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Woodcut printed in black ink on faded and discolored off-white paper, depicting a peddler in front of two women. The peddler has dark skin, thick eyebrows, a large nose, and thick lips. He wears a light-colored coat with a brimmed cap. With the tips of his thumbs and index fingers, he holds dark, ragged pieces of clothing in front of the two women. The woman on the left wears a dark bonnet decorated with a feather, and looks at garments with raised eyebrows, small eyes, and pursed lips. The other woman wears a light-colored cap and carries a wicker basket on her left arm, covered by her large, darkly shaded left hand. She regards the man with a furrowed brow, and tight frown. The image is off-center on the paper, with wide margins on the top and sides and a narrow margin along the bottom. The artist’s signature is below the image in bottom right margin. The paper has water stains along the top edge and the darkness of the ink is partially visible through the paper on the back. There is a piece of white tape in each upper corner on the back.
    overall: Height: 10.250 inches (26.035 cm) | Width: 8.500 inches (21.59 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, pencil, tape
    back, top right, handwritten, pencil : 24

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The print 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:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us