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Ceramic jug shaped as a comical Jewish man with a collection box

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.590

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    Ceramic jug shaped as a comical Jewish man with a collection box

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    Brief Narrative
    Toby jug depicting a man holding a collection box, made in England during the 19th century. Toby jugs were first made in the mid-18th century and are ceramic pitchers usually modeled on full-bodied representations of popular characters. The man has a large nose, fat rosy cheeks, and thick, dark eyebrows; all stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. The phrase “I PAY OUT” may be a reference to the stereotype of the greedy Jew. This stereotype dates back to the Middle Ages, when economic and professional restrictions were placed on early European Jews. These restrictions limited many 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. The word “Ikey” (sometimes spelled Iky, or phrased as “Ikey Mo”) is a derogatory British term for a Jewish person. The word is an abbreviated version of the Jewish name Isaac (and Mo is an abbreviation of Moses). The term may have originated with the Ally Sloper cartoon series that began running in the British satirical magazine, “Judy,” in August 1867. However, it could have also originated as a reference to the nickname of a well-known Jewish convict, Isaac 'Ikey' Solomon or Solomons, in Britain and Australia during the first half of the 19th century. This toby jug is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    manufacture:  1800-1899
    manufacture: England
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, collection box, impressed and painted, black paint : I / PAY / OUT
    front, base, impressed and painted, black paint : IKEY
    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

    Household Utensils
    Drinking vessels
    Object Type
    Pitchers (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Colorful painted and glazed ceramic jug shaped as a short, stout man. He is portrayed with a pale white face, thick, dark eyebrows, fat cheeks, fleshy lips, and a large, hooked nose. He wears an orange top hat, yellow jacket with a thick collar and cuffs, a green neckerchief with white button, black shoes, and blue pants. He holds a labeled, yellow collection box in front of him, with the strap around his neck. A white, D-shaped handle is attached to his upper and lower back, and the top of the hat is open and sloped at the front to serve as a spout. He stands on a labeled, square-shaped, blue platform. The labels are in English, and filled with black paint. Overall, the paint has been applied messily, and traces of color appear unintentionally on transitional areas between colored sections. The paint on the figure’s shoes and jacket is wearing off. There are small accretions on the exterior, and the interior is discolored.
    overall: Height: 10.000 inches (25.4 cm) | Width: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm) | Depth: 7.500 inches (19.05 cm)
    overall : porcelain, glaze

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The jug 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:
    2024-02-21 07:11:14
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