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Metal figurine of a Jewish man carrying a tray with a suckling piglet

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.569

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    Metal figurine of a Jewish man carrying a tray with a suckling piglet

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    Brief Narrative
    Nineteenth-century, Bohemian metal figurine of a bearded Jewish man with a large nose and hooded eyes. These two stereotypical physical features are commonly attributed to Jewish men. In his hands is a serving platter bearing a suckling piglet garnished with vegetables. Pigs are deemed “unclean” in the Book of Leviticus, and widely known as a non-kosher animal, meaning that Jews do not consider them fit for consumption. Knowing of this prohibition, antisemites weaponized pigs for use against Jews. Pork products have been thrown into or at synagogues, and force-fed to Jews on pain of death. Jews have been called the descendants of apes and pigs and accused of associating with and worshiping pigs. The depiction of Jews with pig-like features, or in close and often lewd contact with pigs is also a common antisemitic image that can be traced back to the medieval Germanic kingdoms. The original motif, called a Judensau, depicted several Jews in indecent contact with a female pig, and was originally displayed in churches, and later disseminated to the public through other mediums such as art, woodcuts, and figurines. Over time the depiction evolved, and new motifs of Jews riding swine, consuming the wrong parts of the pig, or being consumed by a pig were produced. The plate is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation:  1800-1899
    creation: Bohemia (Kingdom)
    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

    Decorative Arts
    Physical Description
    Hollow, silver colored, cast metal figurine of a somber looking Jewish man carrying a garnished, suckling piglet on a platter. He is stepping forward with his left foot and holding the platter at waist height, arms up and elbows tucked in. He has shoulder length hair with a curled bottom, thick sidelocks, and heavy eyebrows. The sad, hooded eyes stare straight ahead and the slightly parted, fleshy lips are turned down at the corners. He has a large pointed nose and a full beard. He wears a tricorn hat, a buttoned vest over a collared shirt, an open, knee-length jacket, trousers, and flat shoes. A small post on the bottom of the raised foot levels the figure while standing.
    overall: Height: 6.875 inches (17.463 cm) | Width: 2.875 inches (7.303 cm) | Depth: 3.625 inches (9.208 cm)
    overall : metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Bohemia (Czech Republic)

    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:
    2022-07-28 18:30:38
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