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2 sided gameboard for chess and the antisemitic Game of the Jew

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.544

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    2 sided gameboard for chess and the antisemitic Game of the Jew


    Brief Narrative
    Double-sided, handcrafted wooden gameboard with a numbered playing grid for the Game of the Jew dice game on one side and a chessboard on the other. The Game has a painting of a turbaned Sephardic Jew in the center square. It is played with 2 dice and several tokens, evenly divided among players. The dice are rolled and the value indicates how many tokens that player can add or remove from the game space with that number. Tokens are only added, not removed, to the 7 or Jew’s space. The accumulated tokens on the board are collected by the player who rolls a twelve. The player with the most tokens at the end wins. The player's goal is to emulate the antisemitic stereotype of the greedy, wealth hoarding Jew. Versions of this dice game without the caricatured Jew as the centerpiece, called Gluckshaus, Jeu de Sept, and Merry Seven, were known throughout Europe by the 15th century. The early version of this game, made of a paper print attached to treated linen and called The New and Fashionable Game of the Jew, was sold in London, England, in 1807, by Wallis and Dunnett. This gameboard is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.
    creation:  approximately 1800-1825
    creation: Great Britain
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    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
    Gameboards (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Double sided, varnished, brown wooden panel with a game board on each side: a painted grid with numbered tiles for the Game of the Jew dice game and an inlaid chess board. The Game grid has 11 rectangular boxes separated by incised, black painted lines. They are arranged in 3 columns: the outer columns have 4 equal boxes: the left is numbered, from the top, 2, 5, 11, 6; the right is 4, 3, 9, 8. The center column has 3 larger boxes: the top, 12, and bottom, 10, are equal. The center box merges 2 sections and has a painting of a Sephardic Jewish money lender with a framed number 7 near his head. He sits at a table in a red curtained room with a dark brown background. He wears a white and pink turban and blue, fur trimmed robe, and has gray sidelocks and beard and thick brows over hooded eyes. He holds a gold beaded dish in his right hand and on the table before him are a pile of gold coins and several small pouches. The chess/checker gameboard on the back has 8 rows of 8 alternating dark and light brown inlaid wooden squares, with 2 panels of brown wood, with visible wood grain, similar to the dark squares, along the short ends. The panel is warped, scratched, and missing tiles.
    overall: Height: 19.500 inches (49.53 cm) | Width: 14.500 inches (36.83 cm) | Depth: 1.125 inches (2.858 cm)
    overall : wood, paint, varnish, adhesive

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The gameboard 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 18:13:48
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