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Cigar box with a carving of three Jewish hareskin dealers

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.577

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    Cigar box with a carving of three Jewish hareskin dealers

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    Brief Narrative
    Wood cigar box with an image of three Jewish hareskin dealers carved on the front. Cigars became popular across Europe during the 19th century. Cigar cases are meant to protect cigars from external damage and to regulate humidity to prevent the cigar from prematurely drying out. The image on the cigar box depicts the men with stereotypically hooked noses, hooded eyes, beards, and pointed teeth. The scene, possibly based on a Dutch folktale about three Jewish hareskin dealers who swindle a miserly farmer, can be traced back to the lithographic printing firm of Johan Martin Billroth, which opened in 1829 in Groningen, Netherlands. This image was popular in northern Europe in the early 19th century and was reproduced in various mediums. The cigar box is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation:  1829
    creation: Europe
    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
    Cigar boxes (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Cylindrical-shaped, light brown, wood cigar holder with a flat backside and a wood-hinged clamshell lid. The front has a carved relief image of three tightly grouped men in conversation. The diminutive man on the left is in right profile facing the man in left profile on the right, and they point at each other with extended index fingers. Their faces frame that of the center man, who has a large nose and eyes that look to the right. They wear tricorn hats and collarless knee-length jackets with large buttons. The man on the left has a walking stick, and a long, sloped nose. The man on the right has a large, hooked nose. He is also wearing a vest, and carrying a sack over his shoulder. They all smile at each other with hooded eyes, and have trimmed beards and sideburns. The top of the lid has a dimpled surface and a carved relief image of a man with a mutton chop beard and a large, hooked nose depicted from the shoulders up. Wearing a large brimmed hat and a collared jacket he is smoking a thick cigar. The bottom has a dimpled surface and a carved relief image of a man with a mutton chop beard depicted from the chest up. He is wearing a sleeping cap with collared jacket, while holding a small cup in his left hand and a bottle in his right hand. The top and bottom of the cigar holder have narrow lips that extend slightly out from the body. The back of the container has the partial remains of a white sticker, and there is a small amount of adhesive residue near the bottom.
    overall: Height: 5.750 inches (14.605 cm) | Width: 2.625 inches (6.668 cm) | Depth: 1.500 inches (3.81 cm)
    overall : wood
    back, top, handwritten on sticker : [illegible] 8

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Netherlands. England.

    Administrative Notes

    The cigar box 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
    This page:

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