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Carved letter opener with a Jewish man’s head as pommel

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.543

Carved wooden letter opener with the head of a Jewish man as the handle. European artisans commonly adorned everyday items such as ceramics, toys, and household utensils, with caricatures of Jewish faces. These objects were often examples of racial antisemitism becoming part of everyday life. In some cases, where the portrayals were naturalistic or not cruelly exagerrated, as with this letter opener, it may be that the owner or maker was Jewish and wanted an object that reflected an image with a familiar cultural resonance. This letter opener is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.

creation:  approximately 1850
Object Type
Letter openers (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2021-03-09 09:12:51
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